Glencairn Crystal sparkles as Chinese growth brings record sales

From left: Jason Kennedy, sales director; Gordon Brown, marketing director; Paul Davidson, managing director; Raymond Davidson, founder; James Crilly, purchasing director; Scott Davidson, new product development director. Picture: Contributed
From left: Jason Kennedy, sales director; Gordon Brown, marketing director; Paul Davidson, managing director; Raymond Davidson, founder; James Crilly, purchasing director; Scott Davidson, new product development director. Picture: Contributed
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Glencairn Crystal has reported 15 years of unbroken revenue growth as the drinks glass maker cracked the burgeoning Chinese market.

The East Kilbride-based business, which sells more than 65,000 glasses each week, revealed that turnover rose to £11.3 million for the financial year to April 2019, up from £10.2m in the previous year.

This represents a 15th consecutive year of revenue growth for the glassware company, which is owned and operated by the Davidson family.

Glencairn attributed the strong results to thriving sales in its international markets, particularly in China and the US.

The company pointed to China as the largest region in which it has “gained traction” during the last 12 months, while hailing the US – already a solid export market for the firm – as continuing to provide “huge growth”.

US sales are now worth some £4m of the company’s annual revenues, with online sales accounting for nearly £1m of this.

Glencairn now exports to 95 countries, working with more than 600 distilleries directly.

Custom decanters and unique glassware projects were also on the up, having increased by a fifth during the past year and contributing to £100m of sales for clients in the last 18 months.

In the past year the firm said it has been commissioned by more than 30 brands to create bespoke packaging for some of the world’s “rarest and most expensive spirits”.

As well as whisky manufacturers, Glencairn clients include BP, Google, the Houses of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and Liverpool FC.

The company’s defining product within the consumer whisky market – the Scotch Whisky Association-endorsed Glencairn Glass, which it created in 2001 – has also continued to be a success story, with around three million sales worldwide last year. Glencairn has delivered rising annual revenues since 2004, when it turned over £858,000.

New product development director Scott Davidson said: “We are so proud of the success we have achieved in this past year.

“Our hardworking team and the worldwide growth of the spirits market, specifically whisky, has meant that we have been able to capitalise on what we do best – provide clients with a high-end customer service they can’t get anywhere else.

“Above all else we continue to put our customers and their needs first – something that is demonstrated through fifteen years of continued growth.”

The results come after Glencairn expanded its management team in April with the recruitment of purchasing director James Crilly.

Crilly previously spent 25 years at Inver House Distillers in Lanarkshire, starting off in the maturation and blending division before moving to work in procurement and new product development for two decades.