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Swedish whisky distillers shed staff amid loss

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Mackmyra whisky. File: TT
17:05 CET+01:00
Swedish whisky brand Mackmyra announced it would have to cut loose staff members after losses increased five-fold and sales stagnated amid the Gävle company's global expansion bid.

The company lost 25 million kronor ($3.8 million) last year, compared to five million in 2012. The red figures have now forced management to cull staff from most of its divisions, with 15 staff members to leave, the company announced.

The cut represents almost a third of its staff but the move would allow the company to save about 20 million, management calculated.

"We've had a good response from whisky bloggers, reviewers, buyers, we got distribution, but when it came to the actual sales we need to be more present," Mackmyra CEO Magnus Dandanell told The Local on Thursday. "Either through ordinary marketing or through events, and there we could tell we're doing enough." 

About a decade after eight amateur enthusiasts founded the small distillery, their whisky reached retailers in the UK, Germany, France, Canada and the US, as well as Sweden's Nordic neighbours.

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The "paradox" of Swedish whisky was part and parcel of the brand's story, Dandanell said, but sales have remained stagnant despite nods of approval for the products from international experts. The plan is now to focus on the sales market at home and in northern Germany, Mackmyra announced. 

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