Burn Stewart toasts rise in sales abroad

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Profits at Burn Stewart jumped by 10 per cent last year, just months before the whisky maker was bought by South African drinks giant Distell.

The East Kilbride-based firm – which makes single malts including Bunnahabhain and Tobermory and blends such as Black Bottle and Scottish Leader – posted a pre-tax profit of £6.6 million, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Turnover rose by 4 per cent to £59.9m, with growth in Africa, the Americas and Asia making up for a dip in sales in Europe.

Distell bought Burn Stewart in April for £160m from Trinidad and Tobago-based CL World Brands, which also owns Angostura Bitters. Black Bottle is being relaunched this month using a blend closer to the original recipe and switching back to using black glass instead of green.

Managing director Fraser Thornton told The Scotsman: “The growth in profits came primarily from our malts business in the United States and Russia. Scottish Leader also continues to grow in Taiwan, where we benefit from having our own sales force on the ground.”