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‘Persistent demand’ for premium spirits in travel retail

Maxxium Travel Retail is confident premium brands will continue to succeed in travel retail despite challenges in Russia, Ukraine and China.

Highland-Park-Warrior-Series
Highland Park’s Warrior Series help grow overall brand sales by 57% in 2013

The travel retail supplier, which oversees Beam Suntory and Edrington’s portfolios in the sector, posted volume sales growth of 2% in 2013, driven by sales of Jim Beam, The Macallan and Highland Park in airports around Europe.

Citing IWSR data, MTR claimed Jim Beam now represents a third of the American whiskey market thanks to 28% volume growth in the year that was driven by the Jim Beam Stillhouse installations at Frankfurt and London Gatwick airports.

Meanwhile, Edrington’s The Macallan and Highland Park single malt Scotch whiskies both grew double-digits, thanks to travel retail exclusives.

The latter’s Warrior Series boosted the brand’s overall volume sales by 57% against a category performance of just 2%, while The Macallan grew by 30%.

Glen Williams, MTR managing director, said: “Last year we saw an excellent performance of the portfolio overall, a reflection of the enduring appeal of our premium brands, a high level of innovation and the calibre of the team.”

However, he added the results may not be so bright in 2014/15 as a result of individual, yet significant, market challenges.

“Looking ahead, the underlying trend shows persistent demand for premium brands,” Williams added. “We face a challenging trading environment, created by factors such as the deterioration of the rouble, the crisis in Ukraine and China’s new position on luxury gifting, but the business is in good shape to tackle this together with our customers and we remain confident about the future and our continued success.”

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