Premium drinks minnow Distil (DIS:AIM) froths up 14.4% to 1.03p early doors, as investors raise a glass to pleasing interims and a confident outlook statement. Distil also cheers with news its RedLeg Spiced Rum tipple has been listed by a major, albeit unnamed, UK grocer in 700 of its largest UK stores in time for Christmas.
For the uninitiated, Distil is the micro cap owner of premium drinks brands RedLeg as well as Blackwoods gin and vodka, Blavod black vodka, Jago's cream liqueur and also Diva vodka. The shares surged higher this morning on news RedLeg has secured another UK supermarket listing, building on a successful listing by another 'major UK grocery chain' in April and boosting the brand's presence and UK availability.
Executive chairman Don Goulding is 'delighted that RedLeg Spiced Rum continues to build distribution in all sectors of the trade and has been listed by this major chain of supermarkets in the UK. We are confident that this will further enable us to create a much greater awareness and trial of this increasingly popular brand.'
The deal accompanies encouraging half-time figures from Distil, revealing sales up 90% to £530,000 supported by sustained brand investment, as well as a pre-tax losses reduced from £198,000 to £90,000 thanks to tight cost controls and improved efficiencies.
As we explained here in June, earnings quality is improving at the £3.9 million cap, driven by a strategic shift away from third party UK brand distribution and towards driving global sales of owned brands with international growth potential.
Though Distil says duty free sales of Blavod black vodka in Eastern Europe continue to decline due to adverse currency swings, the US is a growing opportunity; Distil has delivered first shipments of Blackwoods Small Batch gin across the pond, a market that has also reopened for Blavod black vodka.
Goulding's outlook statement strikes a confident overall tone: 'The market remains highly competitive as the consumer is faced with a growing number of choices and offers. Therefore marketing and promotional investment will be maintained on our brands. We remain confident that our strategy of developing and supporting our brands in key markets will enable us to continue to grow revenues across the portfolio. Accordingly, we expect our encouraging 1st half performance to continue and are confident for the full year, which we expect will be in line with market expectations.'