“Against this backdrop, our premium spirits brands have recorded strong net sales growth during 2018/19,” said Conor McQuaid, Irish Distillers Chairman and Chief Executive, who pointed out that sales of Jameson here were up 6% while the Prestige range of Irish whiskeys was up 26%.
Irish Distillers did not release any figures on its other non-whiskey brands or on any of the other third-party brands it distributes.
But it did report experiencing another strong financial year in 2018/2019, accelerated by the continued growth of Jameson Irish whiskey, now in double or triple-digit growth in more than 70 markets across the world.
Indeed Jameson continues to spearhead the renaissance of the Irish whiskey category with the brand achieving its 30th year of consecutive growth, selling 7.7 million cases in 2018/19, up 6% in terms of both organic sales and volume from 7.3million cases the previous year.
This year, Jameson entered the top 10 of Impact magazine’s annual ‘Top 100 Premium Spirits Brands Worldwide’ list for the first time ever.
In the US the Irish whiskey category sold 4.5 million nine-litre cases in 2018, with sales of Jameson representing 78% of total Irish whiskey sales. Additionally, sales of Jameson Black Barrel grew by 22% in the US, making it the first Super Premium Irish whiskey brand to reach 100,000 cases.
Jameson continues to perform well in emerging markets too, showing growth there of 23%, with Nigeria (up 141%), India (up 55%), Mexico (up 20%) and Brazil (up 13%) all recording high levels of growth.
The Jameson family also saw sales increase by 12% in Eastern Europe, driven by the Ukrainian (up 24%) and Russian (up 7%) markets.
“Global growth of our Prestige range (up 25%), led by Redbreast (up 24%) and the Spot range (up 40%), reflects the increase in consumer appetite for Premium and Super-Premium Irish whiskeys,” he said, “The growth of Jameson Black Barrel (up 22%), Redbreast (up 20%) and the Spot range (up 61%) in the US is a clear testament to this.
“Our largest markets continue to be the USA, South Africa and Russia, followed by Ireland and the UK. However, it’s hugely encouraging to see such strong growth in markets such as Canada (up 15%) and in emerging markets such as Nigeria, India, Mexico and Brazil.
“Irish Distillers’ global travel retail sales increased by 9% last year and we expect growth to continue this year following the exclusive launch of the Jameson Triple Triple to the travel retail market.
“In addition, consumers reacted positively to new innovations in FY19, with the successful launch of Method and Madness Micro Distilled Gin and Red Spot, which sold out completely.”
Parent company Pernod Ricard reported a 6% rise in organic sales growth (5.3% reported) to €9.18 billion but net profits were down 8% to 1.48 billion from €1.60 billion for Full Year 2018.