Glenmorangie Co to focus on single malts

Glenmorangie Co to focus on single malts

The Glenmorangie Co has opened a new Scotch whisky bottling plant as one of the final steps in a two-year plan to reorganise its business.

Glenmorangie said that the new bottling plant, which is near the firm's old one in Scotland's West Lothian area, would help it focus resources on its namesake single malt whisky brand and its Islay single malt, Ardbeg.

"We are very focused on growing our premium single malt whisky brands," said Glenmorangie's CEO, Paul Neep, following the opening of the bottling plant this week. "We now have a new, made-for-purpose bottling facility to support our objectives.”

Glenmorangie, which is owned by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has spent the last two years exiting the lower margin market for blended Scotch whisky. In 2008, the firm launched a two-year investment programme worth GBP45m (US$70m) and designed to refocus the group on its core single malts.

The firm agreed in 2008 to sell its bottling facility in Broxburn, West Lothian, to Diageo for an undisclosed fee. Glenmorangie's new bottling plant is in nearby Livingston.

Its strategy to exit blended Scotch and invest in new facilities initially damaged group profits, but the firm hopes that rising demand for Scotch single malts in Europe, the US and Asia will make the short-term pain worthwhile.

Pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of December 2009 dropped to GBP12.7m (US$19.6m), compared to GBP39.3m in 2008, according to accounts for the Glenmorangie Co filed in July this year. Glenmorangie also cut its workforce from 380 to 294 in 2009, the accounts show.

As well as building a new bottling plant, Glenmorangie has upgraded its Ardbeg and Glenmorangie whisky distilleries and also moved its headquarters to Edinburgh.