Blavod Extreme Spirits, the UK-based drinks group, has reported a 45% rise in net sales for its fiscal full-year.

Net sales for the year to the end of March rose to GBP5.95m (US$9.78m) up from GBP4m a year previously, while volume sales rose by 36%, Blavod Extreme said today (19 June).

Net profits from continuing operations were GBP185,000, compared to a loss of GBP155,000 last year. When earnings from discontinued operations in the US are included in last year's results, net profits were GBP1.08m.

Sales have been boosted by the acquisition of licences for Blackwood's Gin and Jago's Cream liqueur brands, Blavod said.

UK sales were particularly strong during the 12 months, according to the group. "Our portfolio of reasonably-priced brands...appears to be well-positioned to survive and to grow in this recession," it said.

Export sales grew by 5% on the previous year, but Blavod said: "The US market continues to retract as wholesalers and retailers reduce inventory, and the duty free business, which had been doing well for Blavod during the first six months of the year, fell off sharply in recent months".

It is unclear when duty free markets in the US and Russia will recover, it added.

The group sought to reassure investors about its financial viability. "After making enquiries, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the company and the group have adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the future as planned," said Blavod. 

The group said that it plans to change its name to Blavod Wines and Spirits Plc. This will be proposed to shareholders at the firm's AGM. No dividend is to be paid for the year.

In its outlook, Blavod said: "The organisation has been stretched by an 80% increase in turnover in two years and the addition of Blackwood's Gin and Jago's Cream liqueur brands and the EPM brand portfolio. We will need to add a small number of people in sales and the back office to cater for this increased level of activity, and this will increase overheads."