Macallan feels the recessionary pinch

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The Independent Online
MACALLAN Glenlivet, distiller of the Macallan Single Malt whisky, is suffering from the recession in the whisky industry.

Sales to whisky blenders, called 'new fillings' in the trade, fell by 36 per cent in volume in the half-year to 30 June compared with the same period of 1991.

William Phillips, managing director, said he thought Macallan's sales should be quite resilient to the recession, because it supplied only up-market blends like Famous Grouse.

But higher sales of The Macallan Single Malt led to a 17 per cent rise in profit from that brand.

Turnover for the group fell from pounds 8.18m to pounds 6.93m. Pre-tax profits dropped from pounds 3.33m to pounds 2.84m.

Profits from rents on a new spirits warehouse, opened in November 1990, rose by about 13 per cent. The interim dividend is being increased by 20 per cent to 0.3p from 0.25p. Earnings per share were 1.77p (2.34p).

Mr Phillips said that the increase reflected the board's view that the current year represents only a pause in growth.

He expects that profits for the full year should come close to 1991's figure. Orders for fillings are up in the second half of this year and it is the season when Macallan sells most malt. Margins are also improving.

Macallan made pre-tax profits of pounds 7.38m in 1991, up from pounds 6.69m the previous year. Turnover rose 9 per cent in 1991 to pounds 17.4m (pounds 15.9m).

Macallan shares fell 10p to 158p.