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Distil PLC (DIS)

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Thursday 09 April, 2020

Distil PLC

Trading update

RNS Number : 2825J
Distil PLC
09 April 2020
 

9th April 2020  

Distil Plc

Trading update

Distil plc (AIM: DIS), owner of premium drinks brands RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin and Vodka, Blavod Black Vodka, Jago's Cream Liqueur and Diva Vodka, is pleased to provide an update on trading for the final quarter of its financial year ended 31 March 2020.

Unaudited Q4 (January - March 2020) volumes and revenues showed significant year-on-year growth:

· Volumes increased 80%

· Revenues increased 97%

· Investment in brand marketing increased 87%.

Don Goulding, Executive Chairman of Distil, said:

"I am delighted to report a significant increase in the growth of our business during Q4 at a rate over and above that of the spirits market.

Overall, the quarter was in line with our ambitious forecast although, due to world events, we achieved this through a very different mix, particularly during March. As the outbreak of COVID-19 advanced through our markets, immediate steps were taken to protect both our employees and our business. Production timing was advanced and we moved all staff to working from home with secure remote access. My team responded well and I thank them for their efforts in delivering these impressive results during challenging times and for adapting rapidly to temporary new ways of working.

Our brands enjoy sales through a tightly managed product range with a broad distribution base and we have therefore been able to adapt to the changes in product mix, trade channel shift and additional uplift in consumer demand. Whilst supply chains have been seriously tested during this time, we are grateful to our distributors, customers and logistic partners for their efforts and skills in maintaining availability of our brands to satisfy this high level of demand.

Recent press reports indicate a 22% year-on-year increase in UK alcohol sales during the month of March (Kantar market data, March 2020) as consumers stocked up on essentials, together with their favourite brands, in anticipation of an extended lock-down period. Sales revenue for our brands increased 50% year-on-year in March.

Our sales in Q4, year-on-year, advanced 80% in volume and 97% in value. This was as a result of strong individual brand performance together with the impact of Brexit inventories in 2019.

I am pleased to confirm that we anticipate full year performance for the year ended 31 March 2020 to be in line with current market expectations.

At this stage it is too early to forecast accurate market trends over the next six months, but our brands are relatively well positioned and we will continue to work closely with our trade partners and customers to ensure we maintain stock cover and flexibility through this period.

When the market returns to some sense of 'normality' or a new normality, we will be prepared. It's important for us to continue to work with both on-trade and off-trade customers to create a range of new products ready to meet those new and changing consumer needs. We are, therefore, advancing new product development with our production partners, designers, distributors and customers.

Like everyone at this time, our thoughts are with those suffering the effects of this dreadful virus and the heroic frontline NHS workers risking their health to maintain ours. We are also mindful of colleagues in the bar trade who are being negatively impacted and are facing the loss of their job or business. Our website will shortly be updated to provide shareholders with more information on how Distil is contributing to various not-for-profit organisations and charities to support the industry."

For further Information:

 Distil PLC


Don Goulding Executive Chairman

Shaun Claydon, Finance Director

Tel +44 203 3001 877

 

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (NOMAD)


Neil Baldwin

Mark Brady

Tel +44 20 3368 3550

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd (Broker)


Andy Thacker

Zoe Alexander

 

Tel +44 203 657 0050

 

About Distil

Distil Plc is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. It owns drinks brands in a number of sectors of the alcoholic drinks market. These include premium spiced rum, vodka, gin, vodka vanilla cream liqueur and are called RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Vintage Gin, Blackwoods Vodka, Blavod Original Black.

 


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