Pandemic dents 2020 results for William Grant & Sons

Glenfiddich single malt whisky owner William Grant & Sons has reported a dip in turnover and profits for the year ending 31 December 2020, owing to the impact of Covid-19.

The company said late last month that 2020 turnover was £1.26bn, while profit after tax stood at £240m. Compared to the previous year, turnover was down 11.6% and profit by 23.4%. 

“These results represent a significant reduction from the previous year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic causing major disruption to the business, the spirits industry and society as a whole,” William Grant & Sons said.

Among the highlights for the year, the distiller pointed to the safeguarding of employees, community initiatives and making hand sanitiser, as well as the “biggest-ever media campaign” for Hendrick’s Gin in Europe, including TV advertising for the first time in the UK.

A spokesperson for William Grant & Sons said: “Being a privately-owned company has enabled us to continue to take a long-term view. Every possible step has been taken throughout the pandemic to protect our people – despite the impact on short-term profitability. Once the impact of the pandemic was understood, we were also able to begin reinvesting in our brands and infrastructure to protect our position in the global market. Though the future may look different, this continuing reinvestment will help us emerge stronger from the pandemic.”

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