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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Malibu maker sees profits climb
Malibu is one of Allied Domecq's top brands
Rising sales of core spirit brands have helped drinks giant Allied Domecq report a rise in annual profits.

The owner of Courvoisier cognac and Beefeater gin said full-year pre-tax profits before exceptional items rose 6% to 521m ($942.6m).

Strong US sales helped to offset tougher trading in markets such as South Korea, France and Germany.

Sales volumes of core spirits brands rose by 8%, with Malibu and Sauza among its fastest-growing products.

Ballantine's whisky
Beefeater gin
Canadian Club whisky
Courvoisier cognac
Malibu rum
Sauza tequila
Tia Maria liqueur

The firm said it had continued to grow its market share in the US, with volumes up by 5%.

In Europe, the company saw sales recover in Spain, and reported a good performance in the UK and Central and Eastern Europe.

However, the firm encountered "tougher trading conditions" in France and Germany where slower economic growth hit consumer spending.

Its quick-service restaurants business - which includes Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlours - had an "excellent" year, Allied Domecq said, with profits up 21% at 86m.

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