Scotch Whisky firm William Grant & Sons — maker of Glenfiddich and The Balvenie — reported turnover growth of 7.5% to £1.425 billion and profit growth of 20.7% to £314 million after tax for the year ended December 31, 2019.
William Grant said the 2019 results “stand in stark contrast to the current performance in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic causing major disruption for the business, the spirits industry, and society as a whole.”
The family-owned firm said current estimates for 2020 performance indicate a fall in turnover of around 15% and, despite significant reductions in advertising spends and other costs, a decline in profit after tax of over 30%.
The company said 2019 performance was driven by volume and value growth of its core premium brands, which also include Grant’s blended whisky and Hendrick’s Gin, Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey and Drambuie.
“The performance during 2019 delivered another year of growth with a continued focus on our premium brands even in the face of increased competition from the major international drinks companies,” said a spokesperson for William Grant & Sons.
“Fortunately, this put the company in a stronger position to weather the significant downturn in business in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted the company’s main markets, including global travel retail.
“Current estimates for 2020 performance indicate a fall in turnover of around 15% and, despite significant reductions in advertising spends and other costs, a decline in profit after tax of over 30%.”