THE managing director of Artisanal Spirits Company, owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, is stepping down from the role.

David Ridley, who steered the company through its stock market flotation in 2021, will be succeeded by finance director Andrew Dane.

His departure was announced as Artisanal declared that it expects to exceed revenue forecasts for 2022, amid continuing membership growth. It said revenue for the year ended December 31 is expected to show growth of around 20 per cent on 2021, when it turned over £18.2 million. Artisanal said revenue would be slightly ahead of the consensus revenue forecast of £21.6m.

Global membership of the Society, which has bases in Leith, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London and affiliate bars around the world, grew by approximately 12% in 2022 to around 37,000, with the company highlighting the continuing recovery of venues and events following Covid.

Mr Ridley, who has been with the company for six years, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with ASC and am proud of the group’s success to date. There is demonstrable momentum in the business and following another year of strong growth, I feel the time is now right for me to seek a fresh challenge and hand over the reins for the next phase of ASC’s development. I wish Andrew and the wider team every success for the future.”

Shares in the company were up more than eight per cent in early trading.