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Inver House Distillers ‘in strong position’

Scottish spirits producer Inver House Distillers has reported flat sales in its 2017 fiscal year, but the group’s Caorunn gin witnessed 34% growth.

Caorunn gin experienced 34% growth in 2017

In the year to September 2017, Inver House Distillers, a subsidiary of International Beverage Holdings, reported turnover of £62.7 million (US$83.6m), which it said was “at a similar level to the prior period”.

Gross profit was “slightly down” at £22.96m (US$30.6m). The group said its results reflect its “continued investment in stock for future sales – up 3% from last year”.

Inver House’s single malt Scotch whisky brands ­– including Old Pulteney, Speyburn, anCnoc and Balblair – and premium blend Hankey Bannister experienced a “solid performance in core markets”.

Its Caorunn gin brand is reaping the rewards of a long-term investment plan, delivering 34% value sales growth. In the UK the brand’s sales soared 47%, with 46% gains in travel retail.

Martin Leonard, managing director of Inver House Distillers, said the results were “as expected” and “show that the business is in a strong position”.

He added: “In terms of our brands, Caorunn is a very good example of our strategy in action. A 47% growth figure in the UK market demonstrates how our production, sales and marketing skills and long-term approach can build a brand to become one of the UK’s best sellers in what is an extremely competitive sector.

“We are investing heavily in supporting our brand portfolio to compete in the global market, with a recent relaunch for Speyburn in the UK and US, and further brand projects planned in the near future.”

In December, Inver House commenced a £3m biogas project for its Balmenach Distillery, which will “significantly reduce” its carbon footprint.

Leonard said: “We are also committed to investment programmes at our distilleries, to ensure they are in good shape to deliver increased demand for stock in the future, where possible using the latest green technology and processes to protect the environment surrounding each site.”

Graham Stevenson, Inver House Distillers’ former long-standing MD, left the company last year to join Billy Walker’s newly acquired GlenAllachie Distillery.

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