The share price of Distell Group, maker of Klipdrift brandies, Three Ships whiskies and Nederburg wines, fell 4.1% to R104.58 on Wednesday after the company said sales had fallen in the September quarter. Distell said revenue in the first quarter of its 2019 financial year was flat because of single-digit volume declines on the previous year. Opportune Investments CEO Chris Logan said the government had “milked” Distell in recent years. Excise duties as a percentage of total revenue have lifted from 18.8% in 2001 to 26.4% in 2018, he said. Nevertheless, the government has not helped Distell and other SA producers to gain duty-free access to the rapidly growing Chinese wine market. Logan said it could make sense for Distell to list elsewhere, possibly in London, so that it could access deeper pools of capital to fund its growth. Distell, whose ownership structure was overhauled recently, said volume was lower in SA because of the higher cost of living and price increases on products ...

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