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Company on lookout for acquisitions

BenRiach distiller to invest £25m after record profits

BenRiachWhisky firm, BenRiach Distillery Company, has announced that it will invest £25 million in the business after unveiling record profits.

The owner of BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh single malt whiskies has reported a 24% rise in pre-tax profits on a 17.6% rise in turnover to £41.5m. The finance for investment has been raised with the help of Royal Bank of Scotland.

The figures cap a year of achievement on a number of fronts for the Newbridge-headquartered company. It was named Global Distiller of the Year by Whisky Magazine while the London Stock Exchange highlighted the firm as one of the top influential companies to inspire Britain.

It also follows a period of strong growth assisted by acquisition. GlenDronach distillery was purchased in 2008, the Newbridge bottling plant in 2010, and Glenglassaugh distillery in March 2013. The firm currently employs 120 across its four sites.

Managing director Billy Walker said further acquisitions are possible. “We’re open-minded and if something came up adding value and balance to the business, we would certainly consider it.”

Mr Walker – also a Master Blender and a Master of the Quaich – said: “We continue to make significant strides in brand development where we are concentrating our efforts on the top end of market. We are an independent, boutique business and we see each distillery as having ‘Grand Cru Chateau’ provenance.”

He added: “We are very much focused on the future and over the next two years we have ambitious plans for a significant investment of over £25m in the business. This is being done in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland whose support in recent years really has been magnificent.”

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “In the last twelve months we’ve seen unprecedented demand for high-end brands.”

The top five markets for the company’s brands are Taiwan, Germany, UK, Africa and the US.

“Of these, Taiwan continues to be huge for us,” said Mr Walker. “It’s part of the overall spirits boom in Asia and its consumers have a taste for premium brands so it’s a great fit with our growth strategy.”

He said the Glenglassaugh range has significantly outperformed against forecast while the flagship GlenDronach twelve years old expression continues to be the best-selling brand.

“Today we have a wide customer base and currently ship to over forty countries but there is still potential for growth in the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and much of Africa and South America. So I believe the future for all our brands is tremendously exciting.”

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