August 5, 2008

Overseas Markets Boost Figures at Glenmorangie


PROFITS leaped at Glenmorangie last year as the company received a lift from the booming popularity of malt whisky overseas and investment in new lines.

Accounts for the Glenmorangie Company filed at Companies House show pretax profits increased by 45per cent, to GBP10.6m in calendar 2007, when the company was in the enviable position of growing at home and overseas.

Glenmorangie grew total turnover 26per cent to GBP83.8m.

The fastest increase was recorded in Asia, where sales rose 45per cent. Like other exporters of whisky, Glenmorangie has found that the emergence of a class of aspirational consumers in countries such as China and India has boosted consumption. Producers of Bourbon whiskey in the US have also enjoyed a boost.

In a departure from a familiar script of growth at home lagging expansion overseas, the 26per cent increase in overall exports achieved by Glenmorangie was in line with the rate of expansion in the UK.

Exports accounted for 38.5per cent of total sales in 2007, compared with 37.3per cent in 2006. This suggests that a rebranding of the core portfolio implemented in September 2007, when the company introduced new branding and packaging, has borne fruit.

In line with a trend towards premiumisation, the company introduced the Glenmorangie Extra Matured range, comprising three new "expressions" - the Lasanta, the Quinta Ruban and the Nectar D'Or, while the wood finish range was discontinued.

The latest success will be welcomed by directors of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, which shelled out GBP300m to buy Glenmorangie from the Macdonald family in 2004.

Last month, the French luxury goods giant announced a GBP45m investment plan that will see Glenmorangie relocate its headquarters to Edinburgh and a major revamp at the distillery in Tain, Ross- shire where the brand is made.

Paris-listed LVMH, whose stable includes Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon champagnes, also announced it would build a new Glenmorangie bottling plant in the Lothians, but it said the precise location was as yet undecided.

The company said it had already struck a deal with Dia-geo for the sale of its current 33-acre bottling plant and headquarters in Broxburn.

The move is part of Glenmorangie's strategy to withdraw from the bottling and sale of blended Scotch whisky and to focus solely on the fastgrowing international market in single malts.

The company's Glen Moray distillery at Elgin, whose whisky is predominantly used in its blended Scotch, will also be sold as a going concern.

In the latest year, the boardroom pay bill increased by 12per cent to GBP1.259m.

The highest-paid director, assumed to be chief executive Paul Neep, received total pay and benefits of GBP435,000, up from GBP411,000 in 2006.

The company employed an average of 382 people during 2007, compared with 353 in 2006.

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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