William Grant and Sons sees sales top £1bn

Grant's bottle and glasses The company sold more than five million cases of Grant's last year

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Spirits firm William Grant & Sons has recorded annual sales of more than £1bn for the first time.

The Speyside-based distillers said turnover rose by 9% last year, following increased investment across its core brands.

Group operating profits fell back slightly to £126.3m.

Sales of single malt Glenfiddich topped one million cases, while Grant's grew to more than five million cases, the company said.

William Grant's other core brands include Hendrick's Gin, The Balvenie Single Malt, Sailor Jerry rum and Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, which was acquired in 2010.

The distiller said it had also continued to invest in its innovation brands, including Monkey Shoulder and Reyka Vodka.

In 2011, the company established a marketing office in Sweden, a new distribution hub in Singapore and saw the first full year of trading at its distribution companies in Colombia and Australia.

Chief executive Stella David said: "Whilst 2011 saw some tough global economic conditions, the company performed well thanks to the continued success of our premium spirits brands and our consistent focus on building brand equity, improving our route to market and investing for the long-term."

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