Profits before tax for the year ended December 31, 2009, were 7% up to £3.8 million and group turnover rose to £39.3m, an increase of 6%
The Suntory-owned company reported that sales volumes of Bowmore Islay single malt were up 12% to 164,000 cases and sales volumes of Auchentoshan Lowland single Malt were up 2% to 39,000 cases.
The Glen Garioch Highland Single Malt was relaunched with a new range of aged expressions and in redesigned premium packaging.
Sales of Suntory Japanese Single Malts, Yamazaki and Hakushu – handled by Morrison Bowmore in Europe – continued to grow, showing consumers’ interest in quality single malt whisky.
In March 2009 the company entered into a five-year rolling agreement with The Drambuie Liqueur Company to provide Drambuie with supply chain services covering whisky procurement, blending and bottling, and warehouse and logistics.
The first bottles of Drambuie were produced ahead of schedule early 2010. As a result of this agreement 15 new jobs were created, there was an investment of £1.1m at Morrison Bowmore’s Springburn site in new equipment, plus a further investment of £0.4m in extension of the bottling hall.
Investment in the Springburn production site was confirmed, with a three-year £5.4m programme of works to completely renew the site.
The Auchentoshan distillery visitor centre was voted ‘Visitor Centre Attraction of the Year' by Whisky Magazine and also received a 5-star Scottish Tourist Board grading for the first time. Also, the Bowmore visitor centre received a record number of visitors last year.
In terms of trading to date in 2010, chief executive Mike Keiller said: “The first six months have got off to a very strong start with all Morrison Bowmore brands showing double digit growth, profits are strong and full year expectations look very good. In addition the development of our sales and marketing teams has strengthened our ability to take the products to market, along with our commitment to developing world class brands.
“The production of Drambuie started early with no integration problems encountered, and the dry spring and summer has allowed rapid progress in the £5.4m renewal programme at the Springburn production facilities.”
Morrison Bowmore remains very optimistic about the future growth prospects for single malt scotch whisky because “consumers will continue to trade up to products of the highest quality”.