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Tony Kelly takes over as Eden Mill CEO

Eden Mill co-founder Tony Kelly has been named CEO of the Scottish distiller, which experienced a steep increase in e-commerce sales during its most recent quarter.

Tony Kelly has taken over as CEO of Eden Mill

Kelly will focus on sales, operations and digital marketing, and keeping the day-to-day business “on task and delivering shareholder value”.

Co-founder Paul Miller will concentrate on the development and building of the new Eden Mill distillery and visitor centre. It is thought the new facility will be Scotland’s first carbon-neutral single malt whisky distillery. Distilling is expected to begin by the end of 2021.

Sales for the St Andrews-based distiller rose by 9% during the three months leading to June 2020, with e-commerce and online sales up 600% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Revenue grew to £2 million (around US$2.5m) during the period, with Eden Mill reporting a “record” £800,000 (around US$1m) net profit over the 12 weeks.

Eden Mill said it was dispatching more than 1,000 parcels every day from its new Glasgow Gateway distribution centre at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. The company brought online fulfilment back in house just before the UK was put under lockdown measures in March.

Paul Miller, co-founder of Eden Mill

Kelly said: “While e-commerce has always been a fundamental pillar of our multi-channel distribution model, the unprecedented crisis we have found ourselves operating in has forced us to accelerate our strategic plans and adapt to the new environment.

“Changing consumer behaviour during the coronavirus crisis has been a catalyst for us to fast track our plans while the flexibility and marketing nous of our team has delivered increased sales, market share and brand awareness.

“The great set of financial results achieved in the last quarter will also now enable us to retain more of our team post-furlough and to push on, unhindered by Covid-19, with our distillery development.

“Together with our new distribution centre and new distillery coming in stream in 2021 we are now in a strong position to provide greater capability to build our business, give us greater control and most importantly satisfy future customer demand in a growing market.”

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