Spirits group Distil toasts surge in festive sales

Distil's revenues jumped 71% over the festive period. Picture: Rob McDougallDistil's revenues jumped 71% over the festive period. Picture: Rob McDougall
Distil's revenues jumped 71% over the festive period. Picture: Rob McDougall
The owner of Scottish gin and vodka brand Blackwoods has reported a jump in sales for the crucial Christmas period.

Aim-quoted Distil, which also owns Blavod Black Vodka and RedLeg Spiced Rum, said revenues during the three months to December were 71 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier, while volumes increased by 31 per cent.

The company said the surge in revenues was supported by a near-doubling in brand marketing and came despite a slowdown in sales of Blavod Black Vodka in eastern Europe.

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It added: “The gin market remains buoyant with both Blackwoods Vintage and Blackwoods Limited Edition enjoying double-digit growth in both volumes and revenues. In the US our Blackwoods Small Batch Gin distributor is steadily increasing trial and building on-trade distribution.”

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Distil executive chairman Don Goulding, a former managing director of Diageo UK, said: “Despite highly competitive market conditions over Christmas, our brands grew in volume and revenue. We continued to increase our brand marketing investment to build consumer awareness and trial in support of wider availability to the consumer.

“We are confident for the fourth quarter of the financial year and expect full-year performance to be in line with the board’s expectations. Our plan remains focused on shareholder value creation through the development and success of our brands and we intend to build on the momentum achieved last year.”

Blackwoods gin uses plant extracts such as angelica and wild water mint grown by crofters on Shetland. It was originally developed by Blackwood Distillers, which was founded in Lerwick in 2002 with a view to setting up Shetland’s first whisky distillery using funds raised by sales of gin and vodka distilled at an undisclosed location on the Scottish mainland. The firm later went into administration.