- Stiff drink purveyor Stock Spirits posted a 22% fall in annual profit after rising revenue was offset by writedowns on its Italian brands and an Irish whiskey business.

Pre-tax profit for the year through September dropped to €29.9 million, down from €38.4 million year-on-year, and included €21.1 million in non-cash items that mostly included the impairment charges.

Revenue rose 9.1% to €341.0 million as the company sold higher volumes of vodka and other spirits, especially in its key markets of Poland and the Czech Republic.

Operating profit before exceptional expenses rose 6% to €57.8 million.

Stock Spirits declared a full-year dividend of 9.55c per share, up 6.8% year-on-year.

'We are pleased to have delivered a resilient performance against the backdrop of a hugely challenging year,' chief executive Mirek Stachowicz said.

'In the first half, we successfully navigated excise tax increases in our largest markets of Poland and the Czech Republic.'

'Our strategy of sourcing and manufacturing nearly all of our products locally ensured that there has been no disruption to our operations.'

'In addition, our longstanding focus on the off-trade served us well during the closure of the on-trade as a result of lockdowns.'

'While there remains some uncertainty in the short-term outlook, in the longer term we are confident that we will emerge from the pandemic with an even more loyal and engaged consumer base, closer customer and supplier relationships, and a stronger business than ever before.'

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