Halewood Wines and Spirits PLC, the ultimate parent company of leading independent alcoholic drinks manufacturer and distributor Halewood International, has announced its annual results for the year ended 1 July 2017.

The company, which is behind leading brands including Whitley Neill Gin, Liverpool Organic Gin, City of London Gin, Marylebone Gin, Pogues Irish Whiskey, Hawkshead Brewery, Sadlers Ales and Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer delivered a year of strong profitable growth of £3.9m in 2017 (2016:£1.7m). The results reflect a positive turnaround year with revenue growth being driven by the new management team via key supermarket listings in mid-priced and premium spirits throughout the globe. Exports expanded with an increased emphasis on Asia particularly China and Thailand.

The Group strategy of developing a premium range of artisanal craft spirits and beers alongside continued investment in brand marketing, Route to Market distribution and vertical integration has delivered revenue and profit growth. The Group’s investment in production capability and acquisitions, especially distilling, brewing and sourcing has stimulated development of higher quality liquids to create strong brand provenance and a point of difference.

Key acquisitions include Hawkshead Brewery, City of London Distillery and Sadler’s Ales have added strength to the brand portfolio. The Group has continued to delist low margin and non-profitable lines, rationalised brands and product ranges moving from a volume focus to a margin driven branded business.

H&A Prestige has performed well as the demand for specialised packaging and new artisanal spirits has increased. Willow Water continued to struggle in the period against strong competition and the plant was closed in November 2017 to allow expansion of newly acquired Hawkshead Brewery.

South Africa results remain steady despite political difficulties and rand devaluation. Romania has continued to improve its business although its wines are mainly domestically focused.

Commenting on the results Stewart Hainsworth, Group Chief Executive said, “Halewood has delivered a second year of profit as the impact of the successful restructuring and change in corporate strategy delivers sustainable margin growth. We have seen particular success with our range of premium Gins and Whitley Neill Gin is now the third largest premium gin by value in the grocers.”

The Group plans further brand acquisitions and internal investment in its distilling and brewing capability to enhance the premium craft spirits portfolio. Geographical expansion in new markets, the completion of the new Distillery in North Wales and a John Crabbies Distillery in Edinburgh will further improve Halewood’s ability to provide a full service and point of difference to the trade and consumers.

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