Isle of Arran Distillers enjoy record export sales

Isle of Arran's Euan Mitchell. Picture: Contributed

Isle of Arran's Euan Mitchell. Picture: Contributed

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Isle of Arran Distillers has reported record results despite a challenging year for the whisky industry.

The company said that turnover in the past year had risen by 21 per cent and net profit was up by 51 per cent – the best performance since the business began in 1995.

It said its success was being driven by brand sales, which were ahead by 25 per cent, in contrast to a slight decline for the Scotch whisky industry as a whole.

Export sales for Isle of Arran climbed, with key markets for growth including Canada, Germany and Taiwan. The firm’s single malts are now available in 45 countries and it said further markets are “being explored”.

After a succession of healthy profits reported over the last five years, turnover for the independent distiller has more than doubled since 2010.

Managing director Euan Mitchell said: “In a challenging period for Scotch whisky our continued growth is testament to a focus on quality and a clear strategy well executed.

“Some people believe when the big companies in the industry sneeze we all catch a cold but this is not our experience. Interest in smaller, independent brands such as ours is surging and we are not even scratching the surface in global terms.”

As well as driving export sales, the Arran Malt range is set for increased distribution in the UK with Marks & Spencer, where two products will be available in stores later this year.

The distiller hailed the success of a repackaging of its core product range, which launched in the second half of 2014. Combined with a schedule of limited edition releases, particularly the final release of the Devil’s Punch Bowl series, sales of Arran single malts were up by 23 per cent over the previous year.

Mitchell added: “We have invested to support the progress we expect to make. Two new pot stills are on order and will be installed in late 2016.

“This will allow production to double beyond one million litres of pure alcohol once fully commissioned.

“We have never been the kind of distillery to produce more than we expect to sell, so this boost in capacity and capability is purely a reflection of the anticipated demand for Arran malts.”

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