Irish Distillers drink to rise of Alexandre Ricard
ONE MORE THING:IT’S ALMOST a year ago since I predicted that Alexandre Ricard might one day end up running the Pernod Ricard spirits group. His surname always gave him a sporting chance but he had earned his spurs from a three-year stint here running Irish Distillers, which led to his promotion last year with the French drinks giant.
Yesterday, the drinks group announced that Ricard had been appointed as deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, and would become chairman and chief executive in 2015.
This follows the sudden death of his uncle Patrick recently, which necessitated changes to the company’s board and structures.
Alexandre’s imminent rise to the top job will no doubt have raised a cheer among his former colleagues at the Irish Distillers head office in Ballsbridge.
It should ensure that the business here continues to be a priority for the global spirits giant.
Jameson whiskey is the jewel in Irish Distillers crown and has continued to grow strongly since Ricard departed Ireland.
Jameson achieved double-digit growth in more than 50 markets across the globe in the year to the end of June and is on track to reach the four million case milestone in the “coming months”, according to its French parent.
To cater for this expansion, Jameson’s Midleton distillery is undergoing a €100 million expansion.
Jameson grew by 15 per cent in volume and 18 per cent in value last year. It was up 29 per cent in the United States, its biggest market.
It’s a different story in its home market, with Irish Distillers recording a 7 per cent decline in on-trade volume here last year for its range of spirts.