THE Macallan Distillers has seen a narrow drop in profits after investing to strengthen the Speyside malt's distribution power.

The company, a subsidiary of Glasgow-based Edrington, booked pre-tax profits of £105.3m for the year ended March 31, down 0.5 per cent on the year before.

Writing in accounts newly available at Companies House, director Ken Grier attributed the profits fall to "costs incurred as The Macallan expanded its distribution reach during the year".

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A spokesman for Edrington said The Macallan Distillers contributed to the costs of setting up new offices in Dallas and Chicago, plus a new sales and marketing distribution business in Singpore to serve South East Asia.

The latter will focus on the "fast developing economies of Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, and the emerging economies of Myanma, Laos and Cambodia", Mr Grier writes in the accounts.

The USA and Taiwan are the biggest export markets for The Macallan range, followed by "strong positions in the rest of Asia".

Although profits fell, turnover at The Macallan Distillers surged by 6.4 per cent to £197.5m for the year as the whisky maintained the rapid international expansion it has seen since 2008. This has come in spite of "one of the most difficult economic periods in history", Mr Grier said.

The accounts became available as the £100m project to build a new distillery at The Macallan gathers pace. The company is preparing for construction to get underway, having secured planning permission this month. The project is scheduled to complete in 2017.