Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) boss Ewen Mackintosh has hailed the firm’s new £20 million distillery The Cairn as a “key addition to the long-term sustainability of our business”.
The production plant just outside Grantown is a major milestone in the 127-year history of the Elgin-based company, he said.
The “visitor experience” opened this autumn, offering tours and tastings.
Mr Mackintosh, G&M’s managing director, said the company’s senior management team were “particularly proud of the work of so many people and organisations in the building and recent opening”.
G&M is the trading name of Speymalt Whisky Distributors.
The MD was speaking after the firm posted its latest annual results.
Pre-tax profits fell to £10. 4 million in the 12 months to February 28 2022, from £13.9m a year earlier.
But the Queen’s Award-winning company highlighted a “robust” sales performance.
Turnover grew nearly 10% to £37.4m, thanks to growing demand for G&M’s whiskies in international markets.
The firm also reported a boost from “a progressive return to a more routine working and operational environment following the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Despite Covid continuing to impact the recovery in the last year, alongside “widely reported supply chain challenges across the sector”, G&M pressed ahead with construction of The Cairn.
We continue to execute our long-standing principles of investing in whisky stocks, our infrastructure and the people who work for the business.”
Ewan Mackintosh, managing director, Gordon & MacPhail.
Mr Mackintosh said the new site was a key part of plans to continue building a long-term sustainable business.
He added: “The year ended February 28 2022 delivered a strong performance, particularly in international markets, which has seen a significant uplift in sales with our brands continuing to have strong appeal.
“We continue to execute our long-standing principles of investing in whisky stocks, our infrastructure and the people who work for the business.
“As our newest asset, The Cairn offers additional distillation capacity and will act as a key addition to the long-term sustainability of our business.”
G&M – whose product portfolio also includes Red Door gin – said its award-winning Benromach range continued to contribute to its success, with sales value and volumes growing by 15% and 14% respectively during 2021-22.
The year saw the release of the then world’s oldest single malt, an 80-year-old whisky within the G&M portfolio, which bolstered the company’s performance.
The company added it continued to invest in filling spirit into “the highest quality casks”.
Overseas sales growth
Export sales surged to £24.4m in 2021-22, from £13.8m previously, as markets recovered from the pandemic.
G&M, which employed 131 people on average in the latest accounting period, down from 144 a year earlier, bottles and exports single malts for sale in more than 50 markets globally.
It is also one of the UK’s leading independent wine and spirits wholesalers.