The Distell Group, producers of South African favourites such as Amarula and Savanna, have given an apprehensive outlook for the next few months. This, despite recording better-than-expected figures in their voluntary performance update – which was hampered by four separate alcohol bans. But the liquor vendors don’t have the champagne on ice just yet…

Top SA liquor brand enjoys ‘promising’ recovery

In their report, published earlier on Tuesday, Distell revealed that some of their most popular products helped to drive an optimistic recovery, with international clients snapping up a range of domestic brands. Indeed, it seems that the export exemption for most of the alcohol bans – allowing booze to be sent abroad – has done its fair share of heavy lifting.

“Although 132 trading days were lost due to various bans on the sale of alcohol in South Africa during the current period, the business has been able to recover well to mid-single-digit revenue and volume improvement. The international business performed well too – driven by strong growth in single malts and a resilient Amarula performance in key markets.”

Will there be another alcohol ban in SA?

But Distell also shared a few words of warning for South African consumers. They believe we are not yet out of the woods when it comes to the controversial implementation of prohibition. Executives at the company are choosing to remain cautious, and they are still wary that another alcohol ban could come back to bite them ‘within the next three months’.

“Whilst overall performance and cash generation are ahead of expectations, the Group remains cautious for the remaining three months of trading for its full financial year – given the uncertainty of future alcohol bans in South Africa.”

“This uncertainty, created by unpredictable bans on the sale of alcohol, inhibits the Group’s ability to give accurate profit guidance for the remainder of the year with a reasonable degree of certainty.” | Distell statement

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Presh JM Reporter

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