Irish Distillers to expand as sales of Jameson soar
Pernod Ricard gives the green light for new whiskey warehousing facilities
The international success of Jameson has prompted Irish Distillers to embark on a major expansion project for its warehousing facilities outside Midleton, Co Cork.
The Irish Independent understands that the company, which is owned by French drinks giant Pernod Ricard, has begun a consultation process with locals with a view to beginning construction of the new facilities in the near future.
It's also believed that Irish Distillers is buying land from State-owned forestry group Coillte for the development and that a purchase agreement has already been signed.
A spokesman for Irish Distillers confirmed yesterday that the expansion was poised to take place, adding that the current warehouse facilities in Midleton were approaching full capacity. "In anticipation of the need for further warehousing capacity to mature increasing stocks of Jameson needed to fulfil global demand, Irish Distillers has actively looked at a number of sites that might be suitable for such a development," he said.
The company, which is headed by Alex Ricard, said a site at Dungourney, Co Cork, has been identified and that, subject to the normal planning process, it will be developed to create the additional warehousing capacity required to meet the demand for Jameson over the coming decades. The spokesman declined to say how much the development might cost, but it is believed it will be reasonably substantial.
Coincidentally, Irish Distillers sells an exclusive bottle of whiskey called Dungourney at €500 a pop.
Pernod Ricard, which acquired Irish Distillers in 1988, has been marketing Jameson around the world as one of its 15 global strategic brands. The group, which reports full-year results this Thursday, said in April that volume sales of Jameson had declined in Ireland during the third quarter of its current financial year but were up 8pc in total.
The company sold about 2.7 million cases of Jameson in the 12 months to the end of June 2009, more than other Pernod Ricard brands including Beefeater and Martell. It's believed Pernod Ricard has plans to raise annual Jameson sales to three million cases.