Blavod Extreme Spirits has reported a cut in first-half losses on the back of booming sales from its core brands.

The London-based spirits producer posted an operating loss of GBP1.56m (US$2.67m) for the six months to 30 September, compared to a loss of GBP2.69m last year.

Turnover leapt 140% to GBP2.2m, buoyed by a strong performance from the company's Blavod Black Vodka and Players Extreme brands. Chief executive Jeff Hopmayer said sales in the company's two key markets - the US and the UK - had increased "substantially".

"We've always said this is a marathon and not a sprint and we have finally started to get our brands to gel," Hopmayer told just-drinks today (28 November).

"The losses are less than what's expected. We could turn off the marketing investment behind our brands and be profitable but we're trying to create brands for the long-term."

Total case shipments were up 149%, jumping by 344% in the US and rising by 56% in the UK. Case shipments of Blavod Black Vodka and Players Extreme jumped by 63% and 114% respectively. Hopmayer said it would be tough to match those figures in future months but insisted that Diamante Spirits - the company's joint venture with Japanese drinks group Suntory - would fuel sales growth in the months ahead.

"Without doubt it's going to be more difficult to continue to grow at 140% but as the additional new brands - for instance our Tequila - kick in, they will drive our turnover and case sales."

In September, Blavod launched the first brand from Diamante Spirits, El Diamante del Cielo Tequila, in Chicago and Miami. Hopmayer said the brand would roll out nationwide in the US in January and was bullish about its prospects.

He added: "It's the highest-rated Tequila ever; we could put it up against any other Tequila and it would win hands down."