Kay Pillay, DISTELL-MD Asia Pacific and Middle East

Distell Group strengthens presence in India Kay Pillay, DISTELL-MD Asia Pacific and Middle East, Indian by origin born and raised in South Africa is in India for the first time to raise the profile of its brands distributed by Aspri Spirits. In an interview with Vincent Fernandes, Executive Editor, Ambrosia, he says India is a very exciting market with high growth prospects. Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd, which distributes Amarula — a premium fruit based cream liquor brand from South Africa-based Distell Group, has launched the brand in 2009 and has been growing steadily. Amarula is in the cream liquor category. It can be drunk neat or is mixed with coffee and it can also be tasted over hundred different ways, and Amarula is seen as a cocktail brand. We would like to market it aggresively on trade and off trade, says Kay Pillay. The company would like to make their brands available in hotels, restaurants and especially in retail sector as retail in India is growing very big. India is going to be the largest market of Amarula in Asia-Pacific region and would like to double our revenues in the next three to five years, says Pillay because he believes the competition is exciting and dynamic. The demographic has the right consumers and we would like to be in the right channels, with the right outlets and with the right portfolio. India will also play a great role for the growth of the wine industry, especially for wine producing countries and the producers in general. Distell is a large producer of wines and is one of the only global companies with a very broad and deep portfolio of wines. Says Pillay. Nederburg wines were also launched in 2009. Distell portfolio that are currently distributed in India include Nederburg Wines, Two Oceans Wines and Amarula Cream Liqueur. Amarula is South Africa’s most widely distributed international alcoholic beverage brand. Our wines are sold on every continent with sales of over 1.3 million cases. In the spirits segment it is also strong in apertifs that appeal to consumers across occassions, who know what to drink, where to drink and why to drink. Today its top 15 Brands generate 71% of total revenue and the top 13 are growing at 10%. Ciders continue to dominate the category buoyed by dynamic, compelling communication and product and packaging innovation. The category achieved revenue growth of 8%. Says, Pillay, “In China, we have concluded a joint venture agreement to launch Savanna and Bernini with China Haisheng Juice Holdings Company Limited, a longstanding partner and provider of our apple juice concentrate. In addition, the joint venture will build a portfolio of locally produced Chinese cider brands in the future. This is a very important step in building our long-term cider aspirations around the world.” Revenue from wine increased by 11%, with gains achieved in all price categories and in key markets. Significant players in the portfolio were 4th Street, Nederburg and Drostdy-Hof. In South Africa, Durbanville Hills put in an excellent performance, growing revenue by double digits. Spirits delivered 12% revenue growth, with brandy, liqueurs and white spirits contributing to the result, along with excellent sales from Scottish Leader in the key markets of South Africa and Taiwan, and those of their single malts offered in the US. Sales volumes for the year 2015 increased by 2,8% , while sales value rose by 9,6%, thanks to ongoing investments in brand health, creative thinking, innovation and disciplined revenue management. Most of the Group’s revenue (71,6%) is generated in South Africa. Other prospective markets include S.E. Asia, UK, China, US and Germany. Nederburg is the flagship brand in Germany, says Pillay. We are looking at the size of the opportunity in brand building, producing locally and would like to invest in markets with a 3-5 years gestation period, he adds. Most of our efforts have been directed at the mainstream and affordable end of the alcoholic beverage spectrum in our core market and the company is now increasingly expanding its focus to capitalise on the growing potential offered at the premium end of the market. Consolidation in the global alcoholic beverage industry is expected to continue. Multinational companies are rapidly expanding into Africa and other emerging markets. Distell with a market cap of US$ 3 billion raised revenue by 14.6% and volumes by 13.3% for the period, largely due to Distell’s enhanced market penetration as well as improvements in its product mix. The power brands delivered 4% volume growth achieved across all three segments: ciders and RTDs, wines and spirits, with revenue rising by 10%. The Distell Group is Africa’s leading producer and marketer of spirits, fine wines, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs). While the majority of their products are produced in South Africa, they have a worldwide distribution network with investments in countries that include Scotland, France, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Distell created in 2000 by the merger of Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery (SFW) and Distillers Corporation has grown to become Africa’s leading producer and marketer of spirits, fine wines, ciders and ready-to-drinks. The company is currently the 2nd largest Cider Producer in the world. The cider category was created in South Africa and their cider brands, Hunter’s and Savanna, are now readily available in many parts of Africa. we remain the second-largest producer of ciders worldwide and would be a formidable Cider producer by 2020, says Pillay. Apart from the South African-conceived and produced brands, their portfolio includes a selection of international specialty spirits brands. After acquiring the House of Bisquit in 2009, they have re-established this fine heritage cognac brand. In 2013, Distell purchased Burn Stewart Distillers (BSD), expanding our portfolio with a selection of popular and connoisseur blended and single malt whiskies. Their luxury brands achieved growth in both wines and spirits, with value up 20%. Scottish Leader is growing in southern Africa and Asia Pacific, says Pillay. Bisquit is growing ahead of the global cognac sector.Bunnahabhain, was recently ranked Distillery of the Year at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Nederburg was one of the most admired brands for 2016. Distell’s wine portfolio includes Nederburg, Two Oceans and Fleur du Cap brands, while its spirits portfolio includes Scotch whisky Deanston, Ledaig, Bunnahabhain, and South African cream liqueur Amarula. Distell has over 5,300 employees; 11 Wineries; 6 Distilleries; 3 Single-Malt Distilleries; 19 SA Sales Offices and 8 International Sales Offices

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