Long-term view and independent spirit pays off

Arran Isle of Arran Distillers has reported record results with turnover up 25% in its latest end of year accounts.

The independent distillery, which now employs 30 people (full & part-time), saw net profits increase by almost 60% in 2013 – in what was its best ever year.

Euan Mitchell has been managing director of the business for six years, and his forward-thinking strategy has been instrumental in the distillery’s success. He said: “As a team we have worked hard to build Isle of Arran Distillers into the business it is today, and we continue to keep adding to our capacity and capability to support our long-term success.

“It is really pleasing to see that our approach and hard work is delivering results. We are something of an overnight success, nearly 20 years in the making.

“We are again performing ahead of the market, which saw exports rise by 5% whereas we increased this market by 26% last year. Our portfolio of single malts is varied and interesting, which is reflected in the on-going interest in the Arran Malts around the world.”

Since the business was established in 1995, sales have gone from strength to strength and exceeded 4.5 million pounds in 2013.

Growth has come principally from export sales – which rose 26% last year – and brand sales which increased 28% over the same period.

Arran reported notable success in America, which is now the largest market for the Arran Single Malt, whilst France remains the distillery’s biggest market overall.

Gains were also made in Taiwan, Belgium and the UK, and the business reported growing sales of the core range as well as increased demand for limited edition bottlings such as the Arran Malt 16 Year Old.

To ensure this level of growth can be maintained in the coming years, the business has invested in a new warehouse due to open at the end of 2014, which will give the distillery capacity to store 12,000 extra casks. Plans are also in place to install a further two pot stills by 2016 and effectively double the Distillery’s production capacity in the coming years.

With increased demand for Arran’s whisky across the globe, the distillery’s visitor centre welcomed 60,000 visitors during 2013 and an upgrade to the facility is planned for early 2015 to cater for the growing tourist numbers expected from the introduction of RET (road equivalent tariff) to the island’s ferry service later this year.

Euan added: “This investment in the distillery is a mark of our confidence that we can continue building sales around the world for many years to come. We have achieved a lot in recent years though the potential to grow is enormous and we need to lay down the stocks now to ensure we can meet the anticipated demand.”

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