British spirits brand The Lakes Distillery fell to a £1.75m loss last year as it counted the cost of an attempt to list on the London Stock Exchange.

The English whisky producer incurred exceptional costs of £487k in the year to 30 December relating to fees in preparation for an IPO on London’s AIM that was subsequently pulled due to “market uncertainty”.

These fees, together with increased marketing costs and the expansion of its team meant pre-tax losses rose from £937k to £1.75m in the period, with operating losses rising almost 40% to £1.2m.

CFO David Robinson said top-line revenue growth - up 44% to £6.2m in the period - remained the company’s “primary KPI”.

Sales were boosted by it increasing distribution across all UK routes to market, including traditional and travel retail, online sales and wholesale.

Robinson added that admission to AIM “remains a possibility” for the business and the firm would “continue to assess activity in the capital markets as Brexit unfolds over the next 18 months”.

Last month the business raised a further £2.1m from investment manager Gresham House Strategic to fund its global growth ambitions.

The investment is on top of a £1.6m cash injection in May from existing investors and high-net-worth individuals and took the total investment into the business so far in 2019 to £3.75m.