REMY Cointreau has heralded a “remarkable performance” by its Bruichladdich Islay malt whisky as it reported a big uplift in first-half sales, boosted by a robust showing in China.

Paris-based Remy, which acquired Bruichladdich for £58m in 2012, said sales increased by 7.7 per cent in organic terms to €571.4 million (£503.8m) between April and September. Sales growth picked up from 5.9% in the first quarter to 9.1% in the second.

The results were buoyed by a strong performance by its House of Remy Martin Cognac stable, which saw sales rise by 11.7% to €410m, in Asia Pacific. Within that revenue was particularly strong in China, where the prospects for luxury spirits such as Cognac and single malt Scotch whisky are on the rise. Spirits had suffered in China for several years from 2012 following the introduction of government-led austerity measures but the market has since rebounded, helped by a growing middle class who are able to afford imported whisky and Cognac.

Official figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association yesterday showed that exports of whisky to China increased by 34.8% to £36.3m in the first half of the year. That came as Pernod Ricard, owner of Chivas Brothers, said it had seen sales rise by 27% in China in the first quarter of its current financial year.

Remy said its liqueurs and spirits division had a more moderate start to the year, with sales increasing by 0.8% to €127.1m.That was despite its single malt whiskies seeing double-digit percentage growth in the first half, driven by the “fast development” of its malts in the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Remy, which distils Bruichladdich and gin brand The Botanist on Islay, said: “The Botanist gin continued to deliver strong growth across all regions, while the whisky business posted a remarkable performance, driven by the Scottish single malts, in particular, thanks to the success of the new Port Charlotte bottle.”