Africa's leading producer and marketer of wine, spirits, cider and other RTDs, Distell, has announced the apointment of Luke Maga to lead its global travel retail business. The promotion comes a little more than two years after his joining the JSE-listed company as general manager of its Asia Pacific duty-free operations.
Under Luke, an Asia Pacific travel retail veteran with 15 years' experience in the field, the region has become Distell's top travel retail performer, delivering robust growth despite the downturn that has hit the entire global duty-free sector.
Luke is being succeeded as Distell's Asia Pacific GM by Harry Kartasis, another Australian-born specialist with extensive expertise in travel retail across the region. Based in Hong Kong, Kartasis was most recently the Moët Hennessy global account director with the world's number one luxury retailer in duty-free, DFS, where he successfully elevated the brand's exposure. Previously, he worked for Bacardi Martini, managing duty-free sales in 11 countries across 21 accounts, including airports, airlines, diplomatic services and ship chandlers.
With Distell's focused investment in its prestige single malt, cognac, liqueur and wine brands in the region, Maga leaves Kartasis to capitalise on the recent rebound of well-priced luxury goods across China and several other Asian countries. Maga also confirms that Distell travel retail sales in Brazil and Argentina are showing encouraging signs and picking up in many of the commodity-based economies in Africa.
Amongst Distell's most prominent brands in the travel retail channel are specialty Scottish single malts Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Deanston and Ledaig; Bisquit cognacs; famous South African liqueur, Amarula; and Nederburg wines. Earlier this year, Nederburg was featured as one of just 50 wineries on the 2016 Drinks International list of the world's most admired wine brands. Distell's global travel retail portfolio also includes Scottish Leader and Black Bottle blended Scotch whiskies and Fleur du Cap and Plaisir de Merle wines.
Kartasis is excited about the Asia Pacific potential for Distell's travel retail exclusives and other offerings. "The single malt expressions, their interesting provenance and long ageing, and Amarula, with its refreshed packaging, unique story and taste, offer excellent opportunity in a range of markets in the region. Similarly, Nederburg, which already enjoys a fine reputation, has come to the market with impressive new livery to enhance its image, while Bisquit is proving well-suited to a selection of cruise and other channels."
13 June 2016 - Rebecca Sterritt Paragraph Publishing, content manager
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