Irish Distillers appoints new chief as whiskey sales power ahead

Republic of Ireland spirits market remains challenging for drinks firm

Irish Distillers has named Conor McQuaid as its new chief executive, with outgoing chief Jean-Christophe Coutures to head up Pernod Ricard's scotch whisky business Chivas Brothers.

The announcement came as the Irish drinks firm said it had broken the four million case milestone for Jameson whiskey in the first half of 2017, with sales growth of 12 per cent in value terms and 11 per cent in volume.

While there was growth in US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Mr Coutures noted particularly strong growth coming in the Asian and Latin American markets.

However, Irish Distillers said the market for spirits in the Republic remained challenging, with volume growth of 3.7 per cent and value growth of 3.3 per cent.


In the first half of 2017, Jameson’s net sales grew 5 per cent, Powers was up 11 per cent, with premium gin rising 29 per cent.

“As these results demonstrate, the great growth story of Irish whiskey continues, and I am very proud to have played my part in the continued success story that is Irish whiskey,” said Mr Coutures.

Mr McQuaid joined Irish Distillers in 1998 as regional manager for its southern Europe market. He is currently executive vice-president of global business development at Pernod Ricard.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist