Distil, owner of premium drinks brands including Blavod Black Vodka, Blackwoods Gin and Vodka and RedLeg Spiced Rum, said operating losses for the year to end-March almost halved and said it is well placed to focus on growing sales and launching new products later this year.
The group reported an operating loss of £367,000 for the year ended March 31st from a loss of £619,000 the prior year. Sales for the period fell to £2.4m from £3.8m before.
"The current year loss relates solely to ongoing activities. The prior year operating loss comprised £299,000 of non recurring expenses related to an aborted acquisition and a trading loss of £320,000 which related to ongoing activities," the group explained..
Distil reported a 36% increase in sales of Blackwoods Gin and 37% increase in RedLeg Spiced Rum. It also launched Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin, Blackwoods Limited Edition 60% ABV Gin and Blackwoods Vodka.
Blavod's Executive Chairman Don Goulding said: "We have continued to transform the business by focussing on selling our own brands through distributors and have successfully developed and launched new products which have been well received in the market. Inevitably these financial results reflect the costs of these changes.
"However the majority of these costs are non-recurring in nature and having successfully raised additional working capital (from our very supportive shareholders) earlier in the year, we are now well placed to concentrate on growing sales further and launching new products later this year."
Distil said it has appointed a Spanish distributor to bolster its international network.
Full-year losses more than doubled after turnover plunged at AIM-listed Hightex Group, prompting a steep decline in the group's share price.
The firm, which designs and produces materials used in the roofs and facades of large buildings, posted pre-tax losses from continuing operations of €2.8m (2012: €1.1m) on significantly lower turnover of €9.9m (2012: €17.1m).
The group's main issue was the difficulty it has had obtaining financial information and payment from its Brazilian joint venture, which resulted in uncertainty in its Brazilian receivables and difficulties with its group working capital. This was, however, alleviated to some extent by the sale of its 50.15% stake in SolarNext AG and the signing of a loan facility for up to $10m.
Additionally, although the company delivered a drop in operating costs, which fell by €0.12m to €2.39m, this was almost entirely cancelled out by unrealised currency losses of €0.3m.
The majority of the group's revenues were earned from its contracts in Brazil, where the 2014 FIFA World Cup competition will take place in June. In addition, the maintenance business generated revenues of €0.2m.
Charles DesForges, Hightex's Executive Chairman, said: "2013 has proved to be a most difficult year for the company principally as a consequence of operational problems in the Brazilian joint venture company, but the company successfully took action to alleviate the working capital strains by the sale of 50.15% of the issued share capital of SolarNext and negotiating a loan facility of up to $10m of which $1.8m has been drawn down.
"Hightex's reputation for innovative expertise in membrane structures, coupled with the gradual improvement in global economic conditions, have led Hightex to submit tenders for several interesting projects and the Directors are cautiously optimistic about one or more contract wins in the second half of 2014."
Cash at the year-end was on par with the the prior year at €0.9m.