Posted on Thursday 23 August 2012 by Ulster Business
Michael McCann, Country Director, Diageo, Northern Ireland
Supporting these global results is a strong performance from Diageo’s brands produced in Ireland and exported to over 150 countries worldwide.
Throughout Ireland, the total alcoholic drinks market declined in volume by 1.2% in the 12 months to June 2012. Guinness Draught and Smithwick’s Draught grew value share in the On Trade (IOI), but the beer market remains in decline and net value sales fell 5%.
Michael McCann, Country Director, Diageo Northern Ireland commenting on the full year results to end of June 2012 said “Despite the ongoing difficult and challenging economic environment in which we operate, both here on the island of Ireland and in Western Europe, Diageo Ireland has delivered steady results with our iconic local brands performing well. Bushmills has delivered double digit increases in both volume and net sales. Bushmills Honey was launched successfully in the US and delivered one third of the brand’s growth globally.
The tourism sector throughout Ireland is also benefiting from the iconic Guinness and Bushmills brands. In recent brand tracking research commissioned by Tourism Ireland, enjoying a Guinness with locals in a traditional Irish pub was one of the top ‘must-do’ experiences cited by potential holidaymakers.The Guinness Storehouse is now the number 3 branded visitor attraction in the world. Visitor numbers to the Guinness Storehouse have increased by 10% this year to more than one million visitors. While each year the Old Bushmills Distillery welcomes over 100,000 visitors through its doors.
We are committed to working with our tourism partners to drive visitor numbers throughout Ireland. Key to this is creating and supporting exciting events that have real added value for local communities. Two great examples of this are the Bushmills Live festival and our sponsorship as the official Whiskey of the Irish Open Golf Championship. A celebration of craftsmanship in both Whiskey distillation and music, Bushmills Live was the first event of its kind held at Bushmills Distillery which was headlined by Snow Patrol, Foy Vance and Iain Archer. We were also delighted to play our role in the hugely successful Irish Open and we are looking forward to working with our partners to build upon the many social and economic benefits of this event.
He continued, “We are proud of our strong export growth. In the past 12 months, our three top exports brands have shown positive growth with Guinness growing 4% across the world, Baileys net
sales in China growing by 42% and Bushmills delivering double digit increases in net sales, with a particularly strong performance in Eastern Europe.
It is of vital importance that we maintain a positive domestic market as it is central to our ability to grow these exports.
The value to the rural economy of annual purchases by Diageo Ireland is more than €270million. We purchase over 13% of Ireland’s total annual domestic production of barley, while 250 million litres of fresh Irish milk is used to produce the cream in the manufacture of Baileys Cream Liqueur.
We are sowing the seeds for future growth at St. James’s Gate with our €153 million investment in the new brewery which will allow us to compete even more strongly from our Irish export base, safeguarding the future of brewing in Ireland for many years to come and having a real impact on the Irish economy”.