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Distell bounces back to pre-Covid revenues despite booze sale bans

The Distell Group’s revenue has increased by 26,3% to R28,3-billion despite the lockdown bans on alcohol.

The alcohol producer (Savanna, Klipdrift etc) posted its results for the year ended 30 June 2021, this week.

“Both ciders and ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs) and spirits surpassed pre-Covid-19 revenue levels… The Group’s premium cider brand, Savanna, continued its momentum, with phenomenal revenue and market share growth that saw it pulling level with well-known premium beers.”

Richard Rushton

In conversation with Bruce Whitfield, Distell Group CEO Richard Rushton notes that discussions with Dutch brewer Heineken are ongoing.

He says the Group is delighted with the performance of the past year.

We saw strong domestic growth and then clearly our African businesses sustained the performance they delivered in the prior year pre-Covid as well into this financial year.

Our international business also posted encouraging gains, particularly in premium spirits.

Richard Rushton, Group CEO – Distell

Rushton says Distell has learned some lessons after four complete bans on alcohol sales in South Africa.

We took a position that we want to restore volume momentum as well as the financial performance that follows, to pre-Covid levels as quickly as possible.

Some of the consumer trends also played to our portfolio.

Richard Rushton, Group CEO – Distell

Distell paid R8-billion in excise duties in the reported year says Rushton.

He believes the double-digit increase in these duties is not sustainable, especially in view of the rise in the illicit trade in alcohol.

Listen to the conversation on The Money Show (skip to 1:38):