Following the setting up of a new Spanish subsidiary company, the Suntory Alliance Brands portfolio will now be sold direct to the wines and spirits trade via its own sales team.

SAB España will be focussing mainly on Bowmore single malt whisky and Midori Melon Liqueur in the first year of its existence but other company brands such as Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch, Louis Royer Cognac and Greenall's Gin will also be on offer to the trade.

Morrison Bowmore and Suntory Alliance Brands have slowly been moving away from its focus on whisky broking and bulk whisky sales. Branded case sales now account for two thirds of company turnover.

The company will be making a major marketing investment in Spain and SAB's focus on the growing single malt market will surely bring results in a segment dominated by UDV's Cardhu.

The Spanish development is SAB'S second major investment overseas and it follows on from SAB's joint venture with ANCAP in Uruguay. According to SAB management the South American office has had a very successful first trading year and now plans to open branch offices in Chile and Argentina within the next few months.

Francisco Turiel, a former senior manager with leading winery Bodegas y Bebidas, will manage SAB España.