Edrington’s focus on ultra-premium spirits pays off

A modern Scotch Whisky distillery
The Macallan Distillery

Premium spirits company Edrington has announced its financial results for the year to 31st March 2024, showing ‘robust’ growth despite a global reduction in consumer spending in the second half of the financial year.

Overall, the group’s revenue was up by 5%, at £1.334.3m, producing profits before tax of nearly £407m, and a bottom line profit of £164m after ‘exceptional items’, 10% down on the year.

Foremost in these exceptional items was Edrington UK’s decision to ‘exit the distribution of third-party products in the UK market’ by ending its partnership with Beam Suntory, which resulted in a material reduction in the size of this business, and restructuring costs.

But over the year, Edrington increased investment in its own brands, up by 16% at £262m, and made a 2% contribution to its overall equity, which now sits at £1,234.6m.

Chairman Crawford Giles said: “Once again, Edrington has demonstrated strong performance, navigating through a challenging economic environment with focus and resilience.

“The strong growth generated in the first six months of the year helped the business to manage the impact of a global slowdown in the second half of the year with core revenue and core contribution delivering double digit growth.

“Our strategic focus on ultra-premium spirits continues to drive our success and fuel a cycle of re-investment that has delivered industry-leading performance over several years,” said Giles.

“The results set out in this report are built on a legacy of exceptional performance by generations of dedicated people,” he added. “Each of our brands is steeped in its own heritage and tradition, and this year we are particularly proud to mark 200 years since The Macallan was first distilled.

“It is under Edrington’s stewardship that The Macallan has flourished, attaining its status as the world’s most valuable Single Malt Scotch Whisky. I consider it the primary example of what Edrington’s carefully developed strategy, talented people and steadfast commitment to both investment and innovation can achieve.”

The Macallan has continued to lead the company’s performance, with high demand for premium products, including the brand’s collaboration with Bentley Motors to produce The Macallan Horizon, and with Stella and Mary McCartney on the newest edition of The Macallan Harmony Collection.

Markets in Asia Pacific showed strong growth, with China performing particularly well. The Macallan Colour Collection has reportedly generated ‘outstanding’ early results in Global Travel Retail.

Edrington CEO Scott McCroskie
Edrington CEO Scott McCroskie

Chief executive Scott McCroskie commented: “Edrington has navigated a challenging year to deliver financial results that are among the best in the spirits industry. Our strategy of focusing on ultra-premium spirits continues to deliver healthy brands and a strong underlying performance.

“However, we consider that the economic pressures that we saw in the second half of last year will adversely affect demand,” he cautioned. “While we will continue to invest in our brands, in our operations and in sustainability, the business is planning for the coming year on the basis of lower levels of growth than we have experienced since the end of the pandemic.”