The CEO of Drambuie has hailed progress in the Scotch liqueur brand's recovery plan, after increasing operating profit by 31% over the last year.

Operating profit rose to GBP3.2m (US$5.6M) for the 12 months ended 30 June, while revenue increased from GBP20.8m the year before to more than GBP21m, the private company announced today (8 October).

CEO Phil Parnell told just-drinks this morning that the performance marked an important step on the road to recovery for Drambuie.

"We've stopped the volume erosion, this is our third year of volume stability. We have to always remind ourselves that [before this] we'd had 30 years of steady but consistent erosion, something like 40% of volume."

One of the group's central strategies is to broaden Drambuie's appeal, as its traditional "after-dinner" market goes into decline.

Parnell said that the firm was particularly keen to attract younger consumers in their late 20s and early 30s, while also market the brand as a versatile cocktail ingredient, with mixers such as ginger ale.

"We were never going to turn this brand around overnight. But it is about being more confident about what the product can and cannot deliver."

Plans to increase marketing spend will go ahead over the next few months, the group said, despite turmoil in financial markets and  fears of a full-blown recession across western markets.

Drambuie's cash at bank rose GBP7.7m to GBP9m during its full-year.

Parnell said that this, coupled with the firm's private status, would allow it to "dip under the radar" of the stock market slide. He said the next year or two would likely be tough for the whole industry, but that Drambuie's "ability to invest will likely be stronger than some of the public companies".