UK spirits group, Burn Stewart Distillers, recorded turnover of £20.25m in the six months to the end of December, up 19.8% from last year. Operating profit grew by 50% to £1.65 million. At the net profit level, the company moved back into the black, posting a net profit of £12,000 against a loss of £0.9 million in the same period last year.

Sales volumes rose by 12%, the company said. In the UK market, volumes rose by 8% while volumes in export markets moved ahead by 21%, with a recovery in the sales of Scottish Leader to South Africa a key factor behind the improvement.

Shipments to South Korea showed "continued growth" and Burn Stewart said this business accounted for a "material part" of the higher turnover achieved in the period under review. In Taiwan, Burn Stewart said sales of its premium products were still being affected by difficult market conditions but its standard brand, Scottish Leader Supreme, had performed "relatively well".