The outstanding international growth of WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky has been recognised by the IWSR (International Wine & Spirit Research) in its recently published 2011 Elite Brands list.

The Bacardi-owned whisky has successfully established itself in the Elite Brands list for a 5th consecutive year and is proud to have risen three places to number six in the list this year; ranking higher than any other Scotch whisky.

WILLIAM LAWSON’S passed the milestone of achieving impressive sales of more than 2 million nine litre cases worldwide last year and has also recently been acknowledged by the IWSR as the fastest-growing of the 2011 Top 50 international spirits brands, with a massive 46.1% value increase in 2011 vs. 2010.

The strict criteria to join the Elite Brands list set by the IWSR has remained unchanged since 2007, but has become tougher to meet in recent years and as a result the list has reduced from 22 brands in 2009 to just 11 brands this year.

The IWSR is one of the most comprehensive suppliers of volume and value data for the global drinks industry. An Elite Brand must sell more than one million cases worldwide, and demonstrate an international presence, with at least 40 per cent of sales outside its main market. These spirits must also achieve a consistently steady compound annual growth rate of 5% over the last five years. WILLIAM LAWSON’S achieved a hugely impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.4% over the last five years.

France is a major market for WILLIAM LAWSON’S, accounting for one-third of all sales; while Belgium, Portugal, and Spain are also important established markets. Over the last year the brand has enjoyed strong growth in Eastern Europe and Latin America; in particular Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Uruguay, where the brand has been in market for less than four years.

Esther Park, Global Marketing Director, WILLIAM LAWSON’S Scotch whisky, commented, “WILLIAM LAWSON’S continued presence and even higher ranking this year in the Elite Brands list is a huge accolade. We have had an incredible year around the world, with success in both established and developing markets. We are delighted to achieve this recognition and are proud to take our place amongst the world’s elite spirits.”

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