THE owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has returned to revenue growth in the second quarter after a flat start to the year, as membership numbers continue to grow.

The Artisanal Spirits Company said the Society now has more than 38,000 around the world, with membership up 10 per cent year-on-year in the period up to the end of April amid a strong performance in Europe.

In a statement issued that chairman Mark Hunter was due to give at its annual general meeting yesterday morning, Artisanal said its strong growth in the second quarter puts it on course to meet consensus market expectations of £25.2 million in revenue and £1.1m of underlying profits for the full year. This would compare with revenue of £21.8m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of £0.4m in 2022.

Artisanal highlighted continuing signs of recovery in China following a slow start to the year because of Covid, and the successful launch of a new franchise in South Korea, which achieved 300 new members on its initial launch in April. Further franchises are in the works for Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

All resolutions at the company’s annual meeting were passed by shareholders.

Yesterday’s trading update comes after the company announced two key appointments last week. Chief Leggat, former chief executive of Glasgow-based bottler and blender Douglas Laing & Co, will join as business development director in June, while Billy McCarter was confirmed as the company’s chief financial officer. Mr McCarter replaces Andrew Dane, who was elevated to chief executive in January following the departure of David Ridley.

The Artisanal Spirits Company is the owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, which was established in Edinburgh in 1983. It provides its members with access to events, experiences and thousands of rare and sought-after Scotch whiskies and other spirits sourced from more than 100 distilleries in 20 countries.

Artisanal, which officially opened a new warehouse and fulfilment centre in Uddingston earlier this year, also owns the JG Thomson craft spirits brand.