Distillers boss warns against ban on alcohol sponsorship

  • Post category:News

Cork-distilled Jameson whiskey has been one of the most successful brands ever taken over by Pernod Ricard, becoming the second largest brand in the drinks company’s cabinet.

From the Irish Examiner

However, the chief executive of Irish Distillers, which owns Jameson, warned against banning alcohol sponsorship.

Sales of Jameson whiskey continue to show strong growth, recording a record 4.2 million cases of whiskey sold in the year to June.

In the brand’s largest market, the US, Jameson recorded 21% growth. The whiskey also recorded strong double digit growth in Russia and South Africa.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard chairman and chief executive Anna Malmhake said that due to the success of the brand they were doubling the production facilities in Midleton, Co Cork.

She said the company was embarking on an ambitious programme over the coming decade, having recently completed a €100m expansion project at the home of Jameson, which will more than double production at the Midleton distillery.

Despite the success of the brand internationally, Ms Malmhake said that in Ireland there had been a decline in drink consumption and that a ban on alcohol sponsorship could further damage the company.

In contrast to the growth and optimism for the export markets, the outlook for the industry in Ireland was a cause of concern ”” especially measures committing to banning certain sponsorship or advertising, she said.

Ms Malmhake called on the Government to engage with stakeholders to work with them to try and address alcohol issues in Ireland without hampering successful, export-led businesses.

“As one of Ireland’s most successful exports, Jameson is playing a key role in the export-led recovery of the Irish economy as we continue to embrace progress by honouring our heritage while also delivering new and innovative expressions of Irish whiskey,” she said.

Internationally, Pernod Ricard reported a slowdown in some less-established regions.

China, previously a driver of growth for the maker of Jameson whiskey, is among countries where gains will be less pronounced than before, Paris-based Pernod said.

Where the company has previously benefited from emerging markets offsetting weakness in other parts of the world, it is now counting on “ongoing growth” in the US.

Chief executive Pierre Pringuet said: “Economic cycles: this is life as usual. We’ll capture growth where it is.” The company gets about 42% of sales from emerging markets, he said, and expects the US to be a “growth driver” for the business.