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Profits increase at Speyside whisky distiller

THE company that distills leading Speyside malt whisky The Macallan has powered to pre-tax profits of more than £100 million as volumes and margins grew strongly in key export markets.

The Macallan Distillers, a subsidiary of Glasgow-based Edrington Group, saw pre-tax profits soar to £105.9m for the year to March 31, up from £87.5m the year before.

Turnover surged by 18% to £185.7m from £157.5m a year that saw one of its malts, The Macallan 50 year old, savoured on screen by Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench in Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie.

Edrington, which acquired The Macallan along with Highland Park and The Famous Grouse when it bought Highland Distillers in 1999, reported strong sales of the brand in Asia and the Americas when it reported a 13% rise in pre-tax profits to £168.6m earlier this month.

New accounts at Companies House show The Macallan Distillers transfer its £81.3m profit for the year after tax to reserves.

The directors note in the accounts that interim dividends of £13.1m were paid in the year, up from £9.6m, and that a final dividend of £15.3m for the year had been proposed in May.

Writing in the accounts, company secretary Fraser Morrison highlighted the strength of the company's financial position, pointing to shareholder's funds of £348.7m, up from the £294.5m held last year.

Mr Morrison noted: "The directors regard the results for the year, and the company's financial position, as satisfactory and expect the growth and development of the business to continue in the forthcoming year."

The accounts reveal that The Macallan Distillers employed 55 staff on average over the year, up from 54, with its members of staff engaged in distilling, blending and marketing Scotch whisky.

Its total wages and salaries bill came in broadly unchanged at £1.4m.

The value of Scotch whisky stocks held by the company was booked at £167.6m, compared with £154.8m in 2012.

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