Douglas Laing raises glass to earnings

Family-owned Scotch whisky firm Douglas Laing has cheered a double-digit jump in annual profits.

Members of the Douglas Laing board celebrate the latest results. Picture: Contributed
Members of the Douglas Laing board celebrate the latest results. Picture: Contributed

The Glasgow-based company, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, said operating profits had increased by 40 per cent to £2.4 million in 2017.

It has seen double-digit growth year-on-year since 2014 and recently announced that sales of its whiskies grew to 70,000 cases which were shipped to nearly 60 countries.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The firm was founded by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and is still owned and run by the Laing family – Fred Laing junior and his daughter Cara Laing.

It stressed that international growth was at the core of its strategy with a particular focus being brought to bear on the firm’s “Remarkable Regional Malts” range and the establishment of its own vertical production site encompassing a distillery, bottling facility and new HQ in Glasgow.

The growth plans are being led by Chris Leggat, who was recently promoted to chief executive with Douglas Laing’s owner, Fred Laing, transitioning to the role of chairman.

Leggat said: “This is an exciting new role for me and the business at a particularly positive time as we mark our platinum anniversary. Douglas Laing is an impressive, growing business with an excellent and expanding team of professionals in place, world-class brands and an exciting future.

“We are gearing up for the next chapter where we will continue to invest heavily in our whisky stocks, our team and the global customer base.”

He added: “We have laid a solid foundation to allow the business to grow ahead of the industry curve, planning out for both the short and longer term.”

Fred Laing said: “As we continue to build and establish Douglas Laing as a key player within the whisky industry, I am delighted to appoint Chris as chief executive.

“He brings a great combination of passion and enthusiasm as well as a flair for strategic thinking and understandably works well with my daughter Cara, our director of whisky.

“Last years’ numbers are history and become the new benchmark for further growth. We are currently recruiting for six new key roles across sales and marketing, as well as a number of internal promotions, so we believe the future is certainly looking bright for our family company.”

The firm’s Remarkable Regional Malts range encompasses The Epicurean Lowland Malt, Timorous Beastie (Highlands), Scallywag (Speyside), Rock Oyster (Islands) and Big Peat (Islay). Beyond its blended malts expertise, the Laing portfolio includes Old Particular Single Casks.