Family-owned Scotch firm Douglas Laing makes it a treble

From left: Cara Laing, Danny MacLennan, Fred Laing and Chris Leggat. Picture: Contributed

From left: Cara Laing, Danny MacLennan, Fred Laing and Chris Leggat. Picture: Contributed

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A family-owned Scotch whisky firm has achieved a “treble”, reporting its third consecutive year of double-digit growth as it looks to expand the overseas side of its business.

Glasgow-based Douglas Laing said profits showed a 17 per cent year-on-year increase to £1.6 million in 2016, while sales of its whiskies grew by about 30 per cent, with more than 60,000 cases shipped globally. Its cask and spirit inventory jumped 22 per cent.

We continue to put in place an exciting future for Douglas Laing

Fred Laing

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The business, which started out in 1948, added that three years of growth has driven its recent expansion, and it has this month appointed Danny MacLennan, formerly of BrewDog and William Grant & Sons, to join the board as finance director.

He takes over from Alick Bisset, who becomes non-executive director in the growing business, and joins “with a key remit to head up the finance function and play an integral part in various strategic projects”.

MacLennan said Douglas Laing has “a raft of exciting plans, which I am looking forward to playing a key role in crystallising”.

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Managing director Fred Laing said: “As we continue to put in place an exciting future for Douglas Laing, we are delighted to have Danny join our growing team as finance director.”

The third-generation firm, whose brands include regional malts Timorous Beastie and Scallywag, and single-cask range XOP, also said topping up global sales “is at the heart of the latest stage of the firm’s growth strategy, but there are a number of other projects in the pipeline which are integral to [our] future development”.

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It said it has been supported by Scottish Enterprise on various “innovative and internationally focussed projects and these recent performance figures are testament to the international focus of the management team, which has set its sights on identifying and targeting exciting new global markets”.

Derek McCamley, Douglas Laing’s account manager at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is an exciting period for the company… We look forward to continuing to work with Douglas Laing as it drives forward its international growth ambition.”

Chris Leggat, commercial director of Douglas Laing, said it has doubled in the last three years “now we truly begin building on these solid foundations and we have just started phase two of our longer-term plan”.

He also said it is three years into its 30-year strategy, adding: “Of course there will be challenges ahead, but we look forward to managing them and will continue to absorb and build.”

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