Distillery toasts to turnover rise

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery, known best for its internationally renowned Manchester Gin, has hailed a strong start to the year, forecasting 58% growth in turnover to £4.5m for the financial year ahead.

Occupying six railway arches under the city’s former train station, the state-of-the-art £1m distillery is capable of producing a million bottles a year.

Its spirits include One-Eyed Rebel Spiced Rum, Manchester Spirit Grain Vodka, Forty-Five Vermouth and Manchester Gin, which is forecast to sell more than 120,000 bottles per year alone and is one of the most awarded gins in the UK.

Despite a difficult economic environment, the company attributes its growth to a reinvigorated ontrade market, a strong performance in its export and retail sales and the continued successful execution of its strategic growth strategy.

Retailing independently online and in stores including M&S, Morrisons, Selfridges and the Co Op, the company also distributes to 12 countries across Europe, North and South America, with a further eight countries due to go live in 2022.

The distillery also owns Three Little Words, a cocktail bar and distillery experience.

Jen Heeley-Wiggins, who co-founded the company in 2015, said the results are pleasing after the multiple difficulties faced by the FMCG, beverage and hospitality sectors, hit hard by a bruising two years of covid-restrictions.

She said: “After a turbulent 24 months we’re definitely seeing signs of recovery in our sectors, both across our retail and distribution channels, and in our hospitality offering. We have navigated the environment well and our business strategy has remained resilient, enabling us to enter 2022 in a stable position.

“Pressures still remain, especially from a supply chain perspective where rising inflation and the cost of raw goods to develop our products is starting to impact us, but at the moment we’re confident we can overcome these with minimal impact on our bottom line. It’s something we’re monitoring closely however and we have already developed contingency plans should we need to source new lines to counter increased import prices.”

Forecasting further growth for 2022, Heeley-Wiggins confirms the company will build on its successful product line, and double down on diversification and innovation over the next 12 months.

She added: “The next 12 months is very exciting for us, and we are announcing multiple new streams as we diversify the brand further. We are currently beginning discussions with investors regarding our growth and we’re looking forward to the Distillery’s continued success.”

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery employs more than 50 full-time and part time members of staff.