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Pernod chief notes Irish downturn

THE outlook for the Irish drinks industry remains "concerning" said the head of one of Ireland's biggest drinks companies yesterday.

Irish Distillers chairman and chief executive Alexandre Ricard said the hospitality sector had continued to struggle last year, contracting by 14pc, and warned more would need to be done to maintain business here.

"The hospitality sector, primarily pubs, continues to suffer badly and all stakeholders in this important sector for jobs and tourism must be cognisant of their policy decisions and actions, and their impact," he said. Irish Distillers counts Jameson and Powers whiskey among its stable of brands.

The company's parent, the international giant Pernod Ricard, reported earnings for the six months to December 31 that missed analysts's expectations and follows similar results from Heineken and Diageo.

Earnings before interest and taxes rose 8pc in the six months ending December 31, less than the average 9pc increase predicted by analysts.

Volumes of Jameson grew by 16pc worldwide but that was outstripped by sales, which grew by 18pc.

Irish Independent