GLENCAIRN Crystal has grown sales by 20 per cent in the latest year as it benefited from moves by whisky makers and the like to develop upmarket products to appeal to affluent consumers around the world.

The East Kilbride-based firm recorded sales of around £8 million in the year to 30 April, up from £6.7m, in the preceding year after firms used its glassware to help them grow sales in international markets.

Owned by the Davidson family Glencairn has carved out a niche designing the bottles and packaging used by drinks firm. It produces a glass for whisky drinking for which it has built a global following.

The company does much of its business with whisky firms, which have been facing challenging conditions in countries such as China amid slowing growth in important emerging markets.

In May Scotch Whisky Association figures showed the total value of the industry’s exports dropped for a third consecutive year in 2015, against a difficult global economic backdrop.

However, Glencairn has continued to win business from Scotch makers as growing numbers develop higher margin premium versions of their products to cash in on continued strong demand for high end spirits at home and overseas.

For example, Glencairn has designed a series of engraved bottles with silver inlays and stoppers for limited aged single Dalmore malts.

In April director Scott Davidson said there was no sign that demand for such premium products was slowing mong whisky firms. Makers of drinks such as rum have been following suit.

Glencairn has been enjoying rapid growth in sales in the US with its products generating interest among makers of bourbon and brewers of craft beers.

In March Glencairn signed a multi-million dollar distribution and manufacturing deal with a US glassware producer. It appointed Boelter to decorate and distribute products in America, under an agreement expected to provide a $2.5m (£1.8m) boost to sales over three years.

The company continues to record strong sales of the glass designed by Scott’s father Raymond, who founded Glencairn Crystal in 1981. Mr Davidson saw the difficulties UK producers faced in the volume trade while working at Edinburgh Crystal and decided to go his own way to focus on niche markets such as corporate gifting.

The glass has tapered sides, which are designed to help people enjoy the smell of its contents.

Glencairn has increased employee numbers from around 40 to 54 in the last two years, with grant support under the Regional Selective Assistance scheme.

The SWA has said the value of Scotch whisky exports totalled £3.86 billion in 2015, down by 2.4 per cent on the preceding year. Scotch exports fell by seven per cent to £3.95bn in 2014.