William Grant & Sons has told just-drinks that it has continued to benefit from healthy demand for spirits around the world in 2011, despite concerns of a fresh economic crisis.

William Grant said today (30 September) that net sales rose by 14% in 2010, to GBP951.5m. Operating profits for the 12-month period increased by almost 28% to GBP132.4m.

The distiller, which owns UK distributor First Drinks and last year bought Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, has seen momentum continue in 2011. This is despite ongoing weak consumer confidence in many western markets.

A spokesperson for William Grant told just-drinks: "We are seeing strong growth across our Scotch brands, with Glenfiddich exceeding 1m cases for the first time and showing value growth ahead of volume. Hendrick’s continues to exceed expectations with healthy growth in Spain, the US and UK and Tullamore Dew is now firmly established in the portfolio and performing well.” 

The spokesperson said that "despite continuing difficulties in the global economy, the global spirits category continues to show healthy growth and the William Grant & Sons portfolio continues to perform well". The company's confidence comes amid strong demand for Scotch whisky globally, with Scotch exports up by 22% in value in the first half of 2011.

William Grant looks to be reaping dividends from some of the ground laid in 2010, when it launched a multi-million marketing push on Glenfiddich and opened offices in Australia and Colombia.

The group declined to issue a net profits figure when requested by just-drinks.