Glasgow-based drinks company Edrington — owner of Scotch whisky brands The Macallan, Highland Park and The Famous Grouse — said on Tuesday its core revenue rose 6% to £699.6m in the year to March 31, 2020.
Profit before tax rose 10% to £222.4 million.
However, amid the coronavirus crisis, Edrington said it anticipates a “significant decline” in global sales and profits in 2020-21.
In January, Edrington announced an agreement with Suntory Holdings under which Suntory will buy 10% of Edrington shares for an undisclosed sum.
Edrington’s principal shareholder is The Robertson Trust.
“These results will help the company to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of the post-coronavirus world,” said Edrington.
“Edrington’s leading brand, The Macallan had another outstanding year, continuing to make progress towards its vision of becoming the world’s ultimate spirit.
“It was a mixed year for our other single malts, Highland Park and The Glenrothes in a competitive category.
“Our Blended Malt, Naked, continued to appeal to existing and new consumers in the increasingly important contemporary whisky category.
“The Famous Grouse cemented its position as Scotland and the UK’s no.1 whisky, but the blended Scotch Whisky category continued its long-term decline.
“Brugal, Edrington’s premium rum continued to premiumise, with exceptional growth in its home market (the Dominican Republic) and a focus on key cities around the world.”
Edrington CEO Scott McCroskie said: “Edrington had a highly successful year in 2019/20.
“A 6% year on year increase in core revenue and a 13% rise in core contribution marks four consecutive years of profit growth and validates the consistent long-term investment in our brands and our focus on strengthening critical business capabilities.
“However, it is important that we recognise that these results largely reflect a pre-coronavirus world.
“While our business is on a sound financial footing, we do not underestimate the challenges we will continue to face as we navigate the crisis and emerge into an uncertain new environment.
“We anticipate a significant decline in global sales and profits in 2020/21.
“Our immediate response has been to minimise cash outflow and control costs.
“We will continue to manage the business prudently whilst we adapt rapidly to our new situation and seek to capitalise on emerging opportunities.
“I believe the business is well-equipped to respond to changes in both consumer preferences and the channels through which spirits are sold.
“Fundamentally, our capabilities are strong, and our brands are in good health and remain desirable to consumers.
“Edrington’s success is powered by great people and exceptional brands. I am proud of the results the business achieved last year, and I am confident that we will navigate through this crisis and emerge fit for future growth.”