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Drink to that!

Rum producer Mount Gay Distilleries Limited is reporting a favourable performance for its products locally and internationally. And managing director Raphael Grisoni said the company would continue to invest in the local economy as it sought to expand its product line and grow market share.

Grisoni was speaking to members of the media last evening following the unveiling of one of the three oldest bottles of Barbados rum which the company purchased from Christies in London.

Late last year the company introduced its latest addition to the Mount Gay family, the Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum. It is currently only available at the Visitors Centre and the airport. However, Grosoni said it would be officially introduced to the wider market in April.

“It is between Eclipse and Extra Old in terms of the range. It is a different expression in terms of taste,” he said, adding that since its introduction the response had been “great”.

Although not disclosing the level of investment the company was prepared to pump into its operations over the coming months, Grisoni said it would be placing greater emphasis on marketing of the products, with two people hired since the start of the year in that regard.

“Internationally we are growing about eight to nine per cent per year; so it is a steady growth. We are investing a lot. Even [as] the various markets increase we continue to invest,” he said.

“Barbados is a tough environment [but] we see from the beginning of the year the sales are starting to pick up which is a positive sign. We kept our investment and we have more people on the field which is important. We know some companies are cutting back but that is not our case,” added Grisoni.

Also giving an update on the performance of the Visitors Centre, Grisoni said patrons realized the products were unique and were wiling to support the company. He said the support from cruise passengers to the visitors center continued
to increase.

“We are lucky enough to be close to the cruise ship terminal. It is true that we are attracting a lot of those tourists. The numbers are good and growing so we are quite happy,” he said.

Grisoni said the tour had been revamped resulting in changes to some aspects of the operations. This, he said, was also important to attract more visitors.

“We are changing our offers and we are adapting and making it richer and it is successful. So there is no fatality. When times are tough you need to analyze what I can do best and that is what we did and it is working well right now,” reported Grisoni.

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