IDG paid €74.6m dividend to Pernod Ricard
WHISKEY MAKER Irish Distillers Group (IDG), whose brands include Jameson, Paddy and Powers, paid a dividend of €74.6 million last year to its French parent company, Pernod Ricard.
The Irish Times has learned that the payment was made through an Irish-registered company called Comrie Ltd, which owns 92.89 per cent of IDG.
A payment of €74.3 million was made by the company in 2010.
These payments are thought to reflect the highly profitable nature of IDG, which is a private unlimited company and does not publish any financial information about its business activities here.
Comrie’s latest accounts appear to value IDG and related entities at €4.1 billion, making it the company’s main financial asset.
Comrie, which has no employees, recorded a profit of €74.6 million for the year to the end of June 2011, which was paid to Pernod Ricard via a dividend on November 30th. It had net assets of €4.18 billion at the end of June 2011. This almost entirely reflected the value placed on IDG and related companies.
The directors of Comrie include Pierre Pringuet, the global head of Pernod Ricard.
The accounts show that Comrie received a dividend of €74.3 million from IDG last year, the same level as in 2010. It also earned interest income on the short-term deposits of group companies of €408,000. It incurred operating costs of €77,000 in the period.
The accounts state that its liability for French corporation tax would have been €24.88 million, based on a tax rate of 33.3 per cent. However, Comrie paid no such tax due to losses carried forward and the effects of non-taxable income.
The dividend payments by Comrie to Pernod Ricard reflect the success of its Irish whiskey brands in recent years, particularly Jameson.
In the year to the end of June 2011, 3.4 million cases of Jameson were sold around the world, a rise of 17 per cent on the previous year. It is the biggest Irish whiskey brand in the world and one of the fastest growing spirits globally.
The Cork distillery, which has been making Jameson since 1975, is operating at full capacity.
Last Friday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny launched a €100 million investment by Pernod Ricard in the Jameson distillery in Midleton, Co Cork.
The facility will be expanded over the next two years to cope with the increase in demand for Jameson globally, particularly in the US. As part of this investment, 60 manufacturing and technical jobs will be created. Half of the jobs will be based in Midleton and the balance at a bottling plant in Dublin. This will bring IDG’s total number of employees in Ireland to 560.
In addition to the expansion of its distillery, Pernod Ricard is investing €100 million in a new maturation facility in Dungourney, Co Cork.
Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 through the merger of local whiskey makers John Power Son, John Jameson Son and the Cork Distillery Company.
It was taken over in 1988 by Pernod Ricard.