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Global Brands reports 16% sales growth

VK producer Global Brands experienced a 16% sales increase for its 2017 fiscal year, with volume sales for tonic brand Franklin and Sons growing by 281%.

Global Brands-owned VK now accounts for around a quarter of the UK’s RTD sales

The UK-based drinks producer saw its turnover reach £42 million (US$59.45m) in the year ending 30 September 2017, while gross profit jumped up to £11.8m (US$16.6m) from £10.8m during the previous year.

Global Brands attributed the growth to “consumer-focused innovation” and “growing demand” for premium products – including Franklin & Sons, which expanded its availability to 42 markets last year.

Global Brands, which now distributes to 59 countries, saw total exports for the year grow by 50%.

Sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) brand VK “outperformed” in the UK market to reach the number one position as the best-selling RTD in the UK on-trade, with volume sales growing by 20%.

According to the company, VK now accounts for around a quarter of the UK’s RTD sales.

The company also diversified its RTD offering with a new pre-mixed cocktail range in the on-trade, called London Rd. Volume sales of the range grew by 52%.

During 2017, Global Brands launched an alcoholic canned RTD range, called Crooked Beverage Co. The range has gained listings in multiple grocers and in the on-trade since its launch in May 2017.

In the last year, Global Brands increased its number of employees by 16%, taking total staff numbers to more than 160.

The firm said it has experienced a “strong” start to the current financial year with total volume sales up 20%. The company is aiming to build on this further in 2018 with new product launches and distribution partnerships.

“Consumer demands and taste preferences sit at the heart of what we do and is really driving our growth to keep pace with a fast-changing market,” said Global Brands founder and chairman, Steve Perez.

“Understanding what people want, whether that’s premium tasting mixers made using only natural ingredients or something different to sweet tasting fruit ciders, has seen us trailblaze. We created the alcoholic soda drinks category and established ourselves in the highly competitive premium tonics, mixers and soft drinks market.”

The company was recently announced as the distributor for Lone Wolf, the spirits arm of Scottish brewer BrewDog, in an effort to grow its on-trade presence and increase retail sales by £40m (US$55.2m) over the next two years.

Established in 1997, Global Brands is headquartered in Chesterfield, and has a portfolio of 19 brands including VK, Hooch, Franklin & Sons, Bundaberg rum, Goldschläger and The East India Company Gin.

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