Jameson reports 16% rise in whiskey sales


AN INTENSE marketing programme helped to drive up Jameson’s sales volumes by 16 per cent in the six months to the end of December.

The whiskey, which is owned by Pernod Ricard through Irish Distillers, saw the value of its sales rise by 18 per cent over the same period, with Jameson passing the three million case mark for global sales during 2010.

Irish Distillers chairman and chief executive, Alexandre Ricard, described the six months as “one of the most dynamic and successful periods ever for Jameson”.

He highlighted the sale of one million cases of whiskey in the US, which is Jameson’s “most important export market”. The whiskey saw double-digit growth in 49 US states, with an average expansion of 27 per cent.

Other markets where Jameson performed well included Russia, Ukraine and Canada, as well as its home Irish market.

The group expects to spend €80 million on advertising and promoting Jameson around the world during this financial year, up from €70 million in the previous 12 months.

It has applied for planning permission for a warehousing development at Dungourney, Co Cork, to help accommodate its growth plans.

Mr Ricard said that while he was optimistic about Jameson’s growth, he found the outlook for the Irish drinks industry to be “concerning”.

Pernod Ricard’s stable of brands – which includes Powers whiskey, Absolut vodka and Jacob’s Creek and Campo Viejo wines – saw positive Irish off-licence sales during the six months, helped by a reduction in excise.

Sales to the hospitality sector fell in both volume and value terms, however.

The wider Pernod Ricard group missed analysts’ estimates with its first-half numbers, despite posting an 8 per cent increase in its earnings.

Revenue was up by 7 per cent, excluding acquisitions.