India's UB Group has confirmed that the merger of its spirits operations into one entity should be complete by September.

The six spirits companies, including McDowell & Co., Herbertsons and Shaw Wallace Distilleries, will join to become United Spirits, UB confirmed yesterday (17 July).

UB announced its plans to form United Spirits last year when it acquired a majority stake in Shaw Wallace. The deal then made it the world's number two spirits producer by volume. UB has since slipped to the number three spot after Pernod Ricard's takeover of Allied Domecq last July.

UB also reported that first-quarter core earnings at McDowell & Co. more than doubled to INR774.7m (US$16.6m). McDowell, which produces brands including McDowell's No. 1 whisky and McDowell's No. 1 brandy, saw sales rise 20% to INR7.8bn.

McDowell posted a 234% jump in net profit to INR103.8m for the quarter ending 30 June.