However, the company has issued a profits warning after sales “slowed abruptly” in the closing weeks of 2009.
Sales volumes for the last quarter of 2009 were only 1% ahead of the corresponding period in 2008 for the company – whose brands also include Blackwood’s gin and Jago’s cream liqueur.
It is predicting a break-even result for the full financial year, after making a £185,000 profit last time around.
A statement revealed off-trade sales had been hit by “higher retail prices on several key products which lost share to heavily promoted competitors”.
Sales in the first quarter of 2009 are expected to be better – but not enough to make up for the pre-Christmas shortcomings. “In addition, the company has suffered exchange losses and one-off costs not originally forecast,” said the statement. “As a result, profits will be severely affected.
“Blavod will regain UK distribution and new initiatives are in hand to support the Blavod brand. Moderately increased prices have been agreed on several brands which will improve margins and allow further advertising and promotion support.”