Tullamore Dew owner reports €4.3m loss for 2021 on back of pandemic, Brexit and US tariffs

William Grant and Sons Irish Manufacturing Limited also warn of highly uncertain global outlook

The Irish subsidiary of Scottish drinks group William Grant and Sons, which owns Tullamore Dew whiskey, has reported a €4.3 million loss for last year, down from a profit of almost €900,000 the previous year, as the business navigated the impacts of Brexit, US tariffs and the pandemic.

The latest company filings show William Grant and Sons Irish Manufacturing Limited recorded a turnover of €39 million for the year ending December 31st, 2021, up from €37.3 million previously.

Nonetheless, the company was pushed into the red by a surge in administrative expenses, which rose from €75,000 to €5.9 million.

It noted, however, that production at Tullamore was higher than the previous year and that the business had “navigated well through a tumultuous year that has included Brexit, US tariffs and the effects of the pandemic”.


However, the directors warned that “the global outlook is clouded by various downside risks, including renewed Covid-19 outbreaks due to Omicron or new virus variants, the possibility of de-anchored inflation expectations and financial stress in the context of record-high debt levels”.

“Climate change may increase commodity price volatility, creating challenges for many markets that rely heavily on commodity exports and highlighting the need for asset diversification,” they said.

“Given limited policy space to support activity if needed, these downside risks increase the possibility of a hard landing,” they said.

The company employed 84 people, up from 80 the previous year, with staff costs put at €4.8 million. The company did not declare or pay a dividend for the year ending December 31st.

Directors’ pay last year fell from €1.64 million to €788,000. However, the company noted that some of the directors were paid by another group company and, therefore, the cost does not appear in these accounts.

William Grant and Sons is an independent family-owned distillery with its headquarters in the UK. The group distils, bottles and distributes some of the world’s leading scotch whiskies, including Glenfiddich and Grant’s.

Whiskey production returned to Tullamore for the first time in 60 years in 2014 when William Grant opened a €35 million distillery on the outskirts of the town to produce Tullamore Dew, the second-biggest whiskey brand after Jameson.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times