LOCH Lomond Distillers has highlighted major investment in production equipment, warehousing, bottling lines and a visitor centre, as well as a rise in its workforce, as it targets international growth.

It underlined ambitions to increase the number of countries to which it exports, currently 70, as it reported turnover of £43.2 million for the 12 months to September 30, 2015.

Loch Lomond Distillers, which is owned by Exponent Private Equity and a management team led by former Imperial Tobacco executive Colin Matthews, recorded turnover of £33.4m in a seven-month trading period to September 2014.

The owners of the company bought the trading assets of the Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia distilleries and Glen Catrine bottling plant from the Bulloch family in early 2014.

Loch Lomond Distillers noted the turnover figure for the seven months to September 2014 could not be compared meaningfully on a pro-rata basis with that for the year to September 2015 because of the seasonality of the business.

The company declared that its owners had invested further in the operations.

It highlighted a £1m-plus refurbishment of its Glen Scotia Distillery at Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula, which has included the creation of a visitor centre.

The company added that a new pair of stills had been installed at the Loch Lomond Distillery at Alexandria in Dunbartonshire. It noted that new warehousing had been constructed at Hurlford in Ayrshire, near the company’s bottling facility at Glen Catrine.

Loch Lomond Distillers said that fully-renovated bottling lines had been installed at Glen Catrine, declaring this had improved speed, efficiency and production quality.

Staff numbers increased to 198 in the year to September 2015, from 186.

Loch Lomond Distillers said its UK business had performed in line with expectations.

It added that Glen’s vodka had underpinned its position as the UK’s “second-best-selling spirit”. The company noted the launch of a premium variant, Glen’s Platinum.

Loch Lomond Distillers declared that new labelling and a redesigned bottle had helped its High Commissioner blended whisky to become the fastest-growing Scotch in the UK independent retailer market.

The company said its products were now being sold in 70 countries, with new distribution deals having been initiated since the acquisition of the assets and overseas expansion continuing.

Its product range also includes Loch Lomond single malt Scotch. Others single malts produced by the distiller include Inchmurrin 12-year-old and 18-year-old, as well as Glen Scotia.

Loch Lomond Distillers noted that its Littlemill 25-year-old private cellar edition had been launched during 2015 and was selling well, at more than £2,000 per bottle. It noted this spirit had come from the Littlemill distillery in Bowling, Dunbartonshire, which closed in 1994.

Mr Matthews said: “We will continue to roll out, develop and grow the portfolio to further countries in 2016.

“With the products, infrastructure and people now in place enabling us to deliver our strategy, we are successfully progressing down the path of building a high-quality, consumer-focused, international-branded spirits business.”

The company said it made a statutory pre-tax loss of £14.4m in its last financial year. It made a loss of £11m in the financial period to September 2014. However, Loch Lomond Distillers declared that these figures did not reflect underlying trading performance.

It said: “This does not reflect the underlying performance of the business as the statutory accounts record the cost of maturing stock produced before March 2014 at its market value at the time of the acquisition of the Loch Lomond assets rather than its cost of production. Other significant non-cash movements also impact on the statutory profit and loss account.”