Ian Macleod Distillers toasts rise in sales

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TURNOVER at Ian Macleod Distillers (IMD) – the Broxburn-based Scotch maker behind blends including Hedges & Butler, Isle of Skye and Scottish Stag – broke through the £50 million mark last year thanks to an increase in bulk whisky trading.

Revenues rose by 16 per cent in the year to 30 September to just over £50m, but pre-tax profits dropped by 13 per cent to £3.6m after the firm reopened the Tamdhu distillery, which had been mothballed in 2010.

The distiller bought Tamdhu from Edrington – the maker of Famous Grouse, Highland Park and the Macallan – in June 2011.

IMD, which is owned by the family of managing director 
Leonard Russell, had previously bought the Glengoyne distillery, north of Glasgow, from Edrington in 2003 and has since doubled sales of its single malt.

Tamdhu’s whisky will be relaunched tomorrow at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, following on from a rebranding of Glengoyne’s single malt last year.

Russell told The Scotsman: “We’re a family-run firm so we’re not on the stock market and we can think long term. The fact our profits dipped last year because we invested in Tamdhu and Glengoyne is not of great concern to me.”

Ian Macleod & Co was set up in 1933 and was bought by the Russell family in 1963. Leonard Russell joined the company in 1989 as business development manager and took over as managing director in 2000 when his father, Peter, became chairman.

As well as its whiskies, IMD owns a range of drinks brands, including London Hill gin, Watson’s rums and Wincarnis tonic wine.