Sales of Teeling Whiskey up 37% to €12m

Dublin distiller predicts 25% growth this year as business continues to mature

Sales of Teeling Whiskey increased 37 per cent last year to €12.2 million on a like-for-like basis, its latest accounts show.

This continues the strong growth trajectory for the five-year-old, Dublin-based Irish whiskey maker founded by Jack Teeling.

Teeling’s Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) also increased on a like-for-like basis, to €2.3 million from €1.7 million in 2015.

Teeling’s accounts show that it recorded total turnover of €12.2 million in 2016, down from €24.3 million a year earlier. However, the 2015 figure included a once-off €15.7 million from the sale of surplus inventory through a number of bulk transactions.


This reflected a change of strategy by the company, which moved away from nonbranded whiskey sales two years ago.

As part of the sale of Cooley Distillery in 2012 by Mr Teeling and his family, the businessman secured a small supply agreement for liquid from its new owners, Beam.

Revenues from the sale of this nonbranded product were used initially to help finance the building of the Teeling distillery in the Liberties area of Dublin, which opened in 2015.

However, Mr Teeling took the decision at that point to focus on its own brand sales and to dispose of its surplus inventory. The first of its own premium whiskey stocks to mature will come on stream in 2018.

First mover

Teeling posted an after-tax profit of €1.8 million last year, down from €2.7 million a year earlier. This reflected a 55 per cent increase in its administrative expenses as the company continued to increase its employee numbers.

Teeling employed 81 staff on average last year, up from 39 in 2015 with its payroll costs rising by 61 per cent to €2.2 million. To date, the company has sold 1.4 million bottles of its whiskey.

In terms of trading in the current financial year, Mr Teeling predicted 25 per cent organic growth. “The real challenge for us is the next five years,” he said. “It’s how we can leverage first-mover advantage in the new wave of Irish whiskey companies that have come along.

“We’re really ramping up for the next phase in our business in 2018-19, when we will have our own whiskey to sell. We need to ensure that we have the right organisation – in terms of sales and marketing, production, inventory and distribution partners – to take advantage of that.”

Earlier this year, Teeling sold a minority stake to global spirits group Bacardi, a deal that put an enterprise valuation of €80 million on the Irish business.

Bacardi has now taken over the distribution of Teeling’s brands in the United States, the most important market for Irish whiskey sales.

The company is owned by Mr Teeling and his brother Stephen. The accounts show that Jack Teeling had provided €2.5 million in loans to the company at the end of 2016 with Stephen Teeling owed €359,233.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times