French drinks conglomerate Rémy Cointreau enjoyed double-digit sales growth of its Islay spirits in each of the three quarters to December, as the group announced a return to overall sales growth in the third quarter thanks to improved trading in China and the US.

Sales of Bruichladdich whisky and The Botanist gin were particularly boosted by new account listings in the US, Japan, the UK, Germany and Belgium, the Paris-based company said in a trading update on Thursday.

After a tough first half, during which organic decline (a measure based on constant exchange rates) was -5.9 per cent, the French spirits maker reported sales up 3.2 per cent on an organic basis to €287m (£228m) in the three months to December 31st, 10.8 per cent higher than during the same period the previous year and beating analyst expectations of €294m (£225m).

Compared with the nine months to December 2014, worldwide sales in the nine months to December 2015 were up 7.9 per cent and amounted to €799 million (£612 million).

The maker of Rémy Martin brandy, Cointreau liqueur and Mount Gay Rum said that the uptick in third quarter sales allowed it confirm its full-year forecast to deliver “positive growth in current operating profit for the 2015/16 financial year, at constant exchange rates”.

Analysts had been concerned that that economic slowdown of China would have hit Rémy’s high-end cognac sales in Asia, but the company brushed aside those fears saying that sales in China had been a major driver of growth in the third quarter along with increased sales in the US, its top export market.

Rémy Cointreau bought the Hebridean Bruichladdich distillery for £58m in 2012 in the company’s first move into the premium single malt Scotch whisky market. At the time of the deal it was believed to be the highest price paid for a whisky distillery.