The financial performance of the Group this year reflects the continued strong demand for our brands, with an acceleration in the rate of revenue growth and a further increase in the investment in our brands. We restructured our portfolio to increase the focus on super premium and strengthened our balance sheet to enable us to continue investing in the future growth of our brands.

Core revenue

Core revenue grew by 9% to £679.8m, with double-digit growth on The Macallan, our malt whiskies (Highland Park, The Glenrothes and Naked) and Brugal rum.

The growth in core revenue was faster than the 2% volume growth, reflecting the increased premiumisation of our portfolio and the benefits of both product mix and price increases.

Brand investment

We invested £137.3m in brand-building marketing activities this year, a 7% increase on last year. Our ratio of brand investment to core revenue of 21% reflects our focus on growing the long term equity of our super premium brands.

Core contribution

Core contribution increased 6% to £231.8m this year, continuing the consistent growth trend we have seen over the last three years.

Contribution growth was slower than revenue growth as we chose to invest in higher quality packaging for our super premium brands and added resources and capabilities in areas that we believe will drive the long-term growth of the Group.