“In the last year the Regional Power Brands business unit delivered a positive performance in a highly competitive marketplace.”
It was a year in which we refined our strategic priority from Optimise to Energise Regional Power Brands which in turn injected further momentum into the business. That was evidenced by volume growth and brand contribution growth of 4%. Central to this delivery was the performance of Brugal.
Brugal grew its brand contribution by 19%, as it made further progress in its key markets, The Dominican Republic and Spain. In The Dominican Republic the brand continued its premium evolution, delivering double digit contribution growth.
This journey is also underway in Spain, where the premium expression Brugal Extra Viejo fronted the brand’s Christmas TV campaign for the first time ever.
The blended Scotch market remains competitive and we continue to focus investment towards the key markets for our brands. The Famous Grouse performed solidly in its major markets with volume, market share and contribution growth in United Kingdom and Sweden.
The Famous Grouse also developed a range of premium expressions that are tuned to the profile and potential of the market. First into market is The Famous Grouse Bourbon Cask Finish in the UK which has received early positive consumer feedback. In the pipeline for a June launch is The Famous Grouse Ruby Cask Finish.
Cutty Sark delivered a positive performance with volume and contribution growth, with a small market share increase in the important Spanish market and continued growth in Japan which capitalised on the highball (long, mixed) trend.
Acknowledging the growth trend in premium spirits, business unit focus increased on two contemporary premium brands; Brugal 1888 and Naked Grouse.
1888, our super-premium rum, more than doubled its volume over the last year. The brand’s quality and accessible taste profile is well matched to the expectations of consumers in key cities. The brand continues to gain distribution and an encouraging consumer response in cities as diverse as Miami, Barcelona and Milan.
The development of Naked Grouse is another standout. This brand is a premium, accessible, blended malt that has gained plaudits for its eye-catching advertising. Now present in over 25 markets it grew volume by 20% last year. As Naked gains more traction with the discerning premium spirits consumer we will be investing further to accelerate its growth.