BRUICHLADDICH Distillery owner, Remy Cointreau, has reported a 13.5% decline in annual sales as a result of continued problems in China.

However the Scotch whisky brand, which Remy paid £58 million for in 2012, was highlighted by its French owner as a strong performer.

Remy said: "Bruichladdich continued its expansion within the Rémy Cointreau network."

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Total group sales in the 12 months to March 31 this year dipped to €1.03 billion euros from €1.19bn. Within that the Remy Martin cognac saw its sales tumble more than 23% from €719.7 million to €551.2m.

That was mainly as a result of the anti-extravagance policy brought in by the Chinese government while Remy also began to reduce inventory levels in the country. The cognac saw 7.7% growth in the US and was also up in Russia, Japan and Africa.

The liqueurs and spirits division, which Islay based Bruichladdich is part of, grew by 0.2% overall and was up from €237m to €237.3m. The partner brands division, which distributes a number of products owned by other companies, increased sales by 2.7% from €236.6m to €243.1m.

That was said to have been driven by the growth of Scotch whiskies and champagne in the US. Remy had previously distributed Edrington's portfolio of Scotch in the US but that agreement has now ended. The Macallan maker has taken its US distribution back in house with plans for up to 120 staff, based across key cities.

Remy said it would report a double digit percentage drop in operating profits for the year while net debt had also risen.