Drambuie has posted a lift in operating profit, on the back of flat sales for its latest fiscal year.

The Scottish company said today (2 October) that underlying operating profits from its core brand sales rose impressively in the 12 months to June, by 25% to GBP2.4m (US$4.9m). Although underlying sales volume was flat, branded turnover increased by 1%, reflecting what the company said was a strategy of protecting margin rather than looking for short-term volume.

"Our vision remains to be a highly focused, international brand marketing and distribution company, with a clear strategy, underpinned by world-class distributor management and financial processes," said Drambuie chairman, Richard Stone.

In the past 20 years, from 1987 to 2006, Drambuie has seen volumes fall by 40%, averaging almost 3% per annum. "After such a lengthy period of decline, volume stabilisation and protection of premium pricing and margins is a major achievement and represents the first significant step in the turn-around of the brand," a spokesperson for the company said.

"We are confident that we have laid solid foundations in our key markets and we expect to see modest volume growth in 2007-08."