The drinks producer Blavod Extreme Spirits has seen its turnover for the full year increase 20.9% to £1.82m, The company said this led to an equivalent gross profit up 14.5% to £647,000 (excluding the exceptional write- off of old stock).

Case volume increased by 30.9%. However, overall the comapny made an operating loss of £2,386,000.

"With turnover up by 21% and gross profit by 14.5% at the trading level, excluding the exceptional write-off of old stock, there is evidence of a year of satisfactory advance," a statement said.

However, it added that the period under review includes only 72 days of combined figures following upon the acquisition of the business of Extreme Beverage Company LLC by Blavod Black Vodka plc and which was duly completed on January 20, 2004

"It is still early days in the new fiscal year and much is yet to be achieved.  The full benefits of the merger are not expected to show until the latter half of this calendar year and in the meantime write-downs of old stock, as the brands develop stronger and more marketable identities, as well as other exceptional costs associated with the merger are reflected in the figures and are the principal reason for the overall loss," the statement said.

CEO Jeff Hopmayer said: "I am extremely encouraged by these results and look forward to seeing the benefits of our merger in the latter part of the year.  New partnerships with both wineries and retailers, to which our recent announcement referred, and our enhanced marketing approach, clearly demonstrate the exciting potential of our niche brands on both sides of the Atlantic."