Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and gin arm of Pernod Ricard, has completed the first step of its plan to "revitalise" its Ballantine's brand.

Chivas said that it has finished a GBP480,000 (US$897,000) expansion at its Glenburgie distillery in Speyside, one of the key sites behind Ballantine's Scotch whisky. Pernod acquired Ballantine's, the world's third biggest-selling Scotch, as part of the carve-up of Allied Domecq last year.

The expansion has boosted distilling capacity at Glenburgie by 50% to 4.2m litres. Chivas said it is also planning to create visitor facilities at Glenburgie and a second site, Miltonduff, to "bring to life" the Ballantine's story.

Ballantine's brand director Peter Moore said the brand remained a "priority" for Chivas. He added that the capacity expansion would support the company's "future plans" for Ballantine, while the visitor facilities would provide "the perfect platform to illustrate the Ballantine's story".