THE company which owns the Isle of Raasay Distillery has unveiled a new managing director as it outlined its growth ambitions for the next decade.

R&B Distillers, which was established by Bill Dobbie and Alasdair Day in 2014, said William Dobbie will step up to the role following four years as commercial director. Bill Dobbie, father of William, has become chairman.

The reshuffle comes as R&B reported turnover of £5 million for 2023, up from £4.4m the year before, amid continuing growth in the UK and overseas.

The company, which exports to 40 markets, has targeted growing sales to £25m over the next 10 years and has plans to open new distilleries in Campbeltown and, in the longer term, in Coldstream in the Scottish Borders. It is on course to launch the Machrihanish Distillery on the Mull of Kintyre, which would be the first new farm distillery in the Campbeltown region for more than 180 years, over the next 12 to 18 months.

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The Isle of Raasay Distillery was opened by R&B on the Inner Hebridean island in 2017 and now sells its spirits into hundreds of outlets in the UK, and internationally via distributors. The distillery released its inaugural, three-year-old, single malt in November 2020, while other spirits sold by R&B include Isle of Raasay Gin and Tweeddale single grain whisky.

Some 35 of the 47 people currently employed by R&B are based on the Isle of Raasay.

R&B co-founder Mr Day is the company’s master distiller.

Bill Dobbie said: “William has helped drive double-digit revenue growth at over 20% per annum during his four years as commercial director, and R&B’s board was unanimous in its decision to give him the opportunity to lead the company’s next phase of growth. We have continued to see solid growth in the UK and internationally over the last few years, including during what was a challenging year for the industry in 2023, and are excited by our prospects to build sales in existing and new markets over the next decade.”

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William Dobbie said: “The whole team deserves so much credit for our success to date, and our 10-year vision is centred on taking the business to the next level, increasing our international presence in lucrative markets like North America and Asia. While the high end of the whisky market has come under pressure over the last year, we have managed to significantly increase sales, grow a loyal customer base and brand in the face of industry headwinds.”

R&B reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of £490,000 for 2023.

A spokesperson said: “R&B has reported positive EBITDA since the launch of the whisky in 2020 and has increased profit by around 10% year-on-year since. The company has spent the last four years investing in the team and infrastructure to put the foundations in place to succeed in its 10-year goal and achieving the industry EBITDA standard of around 30% margin.”

R&B Distillers is ultimately owned by Bill Dobbie’s Chanrossa Group, a Scottish company scale-up with a portfolio that includes drinks and beauty and wellness brands. It holds stakes in the Scotch Malt Whisky Society,, Waterford Distillery, and Renegade Rum Distillery.