Margins widened in some overseas markets though sales offset by drop in eurozone demand
Drinks company Edrington Group has posted near flat revenues for the year despite soaring demand for Scotch whisky globally.
Turnover for the year to March 31 rose by just 0.5 per cent on the previous year to £556.1 million.
This compares with an 18 per cent rise in sales reported a year earlier.
However, margins widened in some overseas markets, which lifted pre-tax profits more than five per cent to £148.8 million.
Profits last year rose by 24 per cent, largely from a one-off gain on the £14.6 million sale of the Glenrothes single malt to wine importer Berry Brothers & Rudd.
Edrington, which makes the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark whiskies, said sales to the booming emerging markets had been offset by a drop in exports to eurozone countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal.
The group's malt whiskies, which include Highland Park and The Macallan, helped to lift overall profitability, and Edrington Group said profits from The Macallan rose by 40 per cent on the previous year.
Net debt was cut by £52.5 million in the last financial year to £463.5 million at the year end.
Chief executive Ian Curle said: “We have grown earnings, reduced our debt and strengthened our strategic position with brand growth in emerging markets and the addition of distribution companies in China and Hong Kong.
“In recent years Edrington has increased its international reach and this year we have taken further important steps to harmonise and develop our business interests.
“Following the acquisition of the distribution companies in China and Hong Kong, and the rapid expansion of our New York office, all our overseas companies are now trading under the Edrington name.”