Distell beats alcohol bans with half-year sales rise

South Africa-based Distell saw revenue grow 3.8% in the second half of 2020, despite multiple alcohol bans in the company’s home market. Amarula owner Distell’s revenue for the six months to 31 December 2020 reached R15.4 billion South African rand (US$1bn), with volume growing by 0.8%. Distell’s revenue, excluding excise duty, grew 2.5% during the six-month period. The firm said it had lost 41 trading days during the six months due to the second and…

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The challenges facing South African brandy

Despite its excellence, South African brandy has an image problem, at home and overseas. But, as The Spirits Business discovers, it has some passionate producers keen to fly the flag for the sector. *This feature was originally published in the October 2020 issue of The Spirits Business Few spirits‐producing nations have had it quite as bad as South Africa in this year of the plague. While off‐licenses were deemed ‘essential’ in the UK and remained…

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Top 10 spirits launches in August 2020

From Jose Cuervo’s Tequila-based hard seltzer range to Diageo’s much-anticipated Special Releases series, there were plenty of innovative new products from spirits brands during August. In August, producers tapped into the hottest trends and unveiled their latest annual releases, including drinks groups Diageo and Distell. The burgeoning hard seltzer category welcomed a new entrant last month with Jose Cuervo unveiling its Playamar range, while Australian producer Four Pillars created an olive leaf-infused gin “perfect for…

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Distell unveils eight limited edition single malts

Spirits producer Distell has released eight new limited edition Scotch whiskies, including two from Islay distillery Bunnahabhain and three from Tobermory. The eight single malts were bottled from Distell’s three Scotch whisky distilleries – Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory, the latter of which also produces Ledaig. Each expression is bottled at natural colour and is non-chill-filtered. Julieann Fernandez, master blender at Distell, said: “Our annual collection of limited editions always bring the distillery team’s talent and…

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Distell FY sales hit by South Africa alcohol ban

South African drinks group Distell saw its fiscal 2020 revenue fall by 14.6% due to the alcohol ban in its home market. In the year ending 30 June 2020, the Amarula cream liqueur and Bunnahabhain Scotch whisky owner saw its revenue fall 14.6% to 22.37 billion rand (US$1.33bn). Distell CEO Richard Rushton said: “The resilience of our business and culture was severely tested during the pandemic and I’m proud of the way we are responding.…

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