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UK Scotch whisky volumes up 2% - figures

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Scotch whisky sales in the UK returned to growth in volume terms last year but remained far below historical highs.

HM Revenue & Customs figures show that the number of 70cl bottles of Scotch released for sales in calendar 2015 increased by 2% on the year prior, totalling 84.9m bottles. The rise follows a 5% decrease last year.

According to the statistics, published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) today, annual volume sales of Scotch have fallen by around a quarter in the past ten years. In 2005, more than 107m bottles were sold, but volumes have not exceeded 100m in one year since 2008.

David Frost, the SWA's chief executive, said: "A strong UK market is vital, particularly for new entrants to the industry. The UK is still the third biggest market for Scotch in the world, but it is fragile and competitive."

According to Frost, unfairly high levels of taxation are damaging the Scotch industry's domestic market, and he called on the UK government to repeat last year's 2% tax cut in this month's Budget.

Frost added: "The tax treatment of Scotch in its home market also has repercussions for our export performance. If overseas governments see Scotch being treated unfairly in the UK that could influence their decisions." 


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Scotch Whisky Association

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