Spirits group Distil has reported a 10% year-on-year increase in revenue.
The AIM-listed company also saw volumes of its products increase by 15% for the first quarter this year (Jan to April) compared to the same period in 2020.
Don Goulding, executive chairman, said: “The figures are particularly encouraging as we are lapping the unprecedented first quarter in 2020, (that had shown a 21% increase in revenue over the previous year), in which we experienced panic buying fuelled by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in unusually inflated revenues.”
Easing of travel restrictions to help sales
The group’s portfolio of brands include RedLeg spiced rum, Blackwoods gin and vodka, Blavod black vodka, Jago’s cream liqueur and Diva vodka.
Mr Goulding continued: “I am pleased to report a 10% increase in sales revenue and 15% increase in volumes year-on-year for the first quarter of our financial year.
“Growth in volumes ahead of revenues reflect the partial recovery in licensed sales for Blavod black vodka, mainly through Europe and duty free.
“The easing of global travel restrictions has seen border shops and diplomatic sales begin to return which is encouraging, although airport duty free and travel retail remain significantly depressed versus 2019.
“This continues to impact sales of Blavod, however we are confident that brand volumes will continue to grow back to pre-pandemic levels as restrictions continue to relax and we move into the ‘new normal’.”
He added the company had ensured a smooth Brexit transition with minimal disruption to sales into the EU.
It markets and sells its brands in a number of international markets including the US, Germany, Spain, Australia and Russia.
History in Scotland
In 2004, Blackwoods Distillers unveiled plans to build a whisky distillery at Catfirth on the Shetland Mainland. By 2006, the company was eyeing up a site on the former RAF base at Saxa Vord on the island of Unst, but the firm fell into administration without ever building its distillery, with its gin and vodka brands being snapped up by AIM-quoted Blavod in 2009.
The Blackwoods name still lives on, with Blavod – which was renamed Distil in April – still buying its botanicals from crofters on Shetland.
Last month Michael Keiller, 66, a well-known face in the Scottish drinks industry joined the company as a non-executive director.
His career has seen him hold senior finance and business change roles at Guinness, United Distillers Europe and Diageo in its early stage development.
Distil shares closed 4.35% higher to 2.p4.