Inver House Distillers targets new marketsBy Annie Hayes
Inver House Distillers will take on new international markets including Kazakhstan and Poland following the completion of a £10 million investment programme.
Owned by International Beverage, the Airdrie-based firm has now increased its maturation capacity by 20% in order to serve Kazakhstan, Poland, and emerging market India, where last year it launched its Old Pulteney, Balblair and Speyburn single malt Scotch whiskies and Caorunn gin.
The investment, funded by the Bank of Scotland, has seen Inver House build 12 new warehouses, raising its total capacity to more than 600,000 casks of whisky.
An additional 20,000 casks have been filled and stored in these new warehouses over the past year. The facilities have also freed up space in the existing warehouses, enabling casks to move in and out more quickly.
Funding was also used to increase production capacity at Speyburn distillery, which has seen production capacity more than double, and is now capable of producing 4.2 million litres of whisky per year.
The firm employs 204 people across its six sites in Scotland, and currently exports mainly to Europe, the USA, Africa and the Far East.
Managing director, Graham Stevenson, said: “Our brands performed well in 2015, growing and laying the foundations in many new international markets.
“We anticipate further opportunities and this growth will be underpinned in the coming years by the increased capacity, in terms of production and maturation storage, created as part of our investment programme.
“Looking at India as an example, we have had very positive feedback so far since our brands launched in the country where we conducted a programme of master class events in the cities of Delhi, Puni, and Mumbai.
“We are also about to launch in the travel retail sector, which is key to growth for imported brands in this marketplace, due to the very high import taxes businesses have to pay to get into the domestic market.”
Mark Hull, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, added: “Although emerging market prospects are on the long term agenda for Inver House, the business continues to build a solid base in those areas to stand it in good stead for the future.”