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Kelly becomes Eden Mill CEO as lockdown sales soar

Virtual gin tasting sessions have been popular

Eden Mill co-founder Tony Kelly has taken over as CEO of the St Andrews based distiller and brewer which has seen a sharp rise in sales after adapting to the lockdown conditions.

Mr Kelly’s co-founder Paul Miller will be concentrating on the development and construction of ‘Scotland’s first carbon neutral single malt whisky distillery’ which is being built at Eden Campus at Guardbridge, St Andrews.

The distillery campus will also house a visitor experience. The new facility is on track to be distilling by end of 2021. 

The management changes were announced alongside a 9% growth in sales between April and June 2020 with e-commerce and online revenue increasing by 600% compared to the same quarter in 2019. 

Against a backdrop of bar, hotel, restaurant, duty free and own shop closures the company bucked the trend completely and grew revenue to £2m, delivering a record £800,000 net profit for the 12-week trading period.

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The company also ran a series of virtual gin tastings and cocktail masterclasses with more than 4,000 gin lovers paying for the Eden Mill “at home” experience.

Bolstered by strong partnerships with key multiples and an early return to export markets such as Russia, Germany and Australia the company counter-balanced the lack of “On Trade” business, together with revenue from Eden Mill’s own shops and experiences, to deliver the April to June market beating performance.

Eden Mill plans to develop its portfolio of “virtual experiences” as consumers emerge from lockdown with new social drinking behaviours forecast to remain in place. 

Tony Kelly commented: “While e-commerce has always been a fundamental pillar of our multi-channel distribution model, the unprecedented crisis we have found ourselves operating in has forced us to accelerate our strategic plans and adapt to the new environment.

“Changing consumer behaviour during the coronavirus crisis has been a catalyst for us to fast track our plans while the flexibility and marketing nous of our team has delivered increased sales, market share and brand awareness. 

“The great set of financial results achieved in the last quarter will also now enable us to retain more of our team post furlough and to push on, unhindered by Covid 19, with our distillery development.” 



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