Irish Distillers Results – six months ending 31 December 2020

February 11, 2021
  • Jameson saw net sales growth of 3% in the period from July to December 2020.
  • Jameson, Redbreast, the Spot range, and Method and Madness achieved their highest ever H1 volumes.
  • Jameson sales in the US exceeded 2 million cases in H1 for the second year in a row

Irish Distillers, producer of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has today announced results for the first half of its financial year. The results demonstrate Jameson’s resilience, with sales growth of 3% globally.

Jameson recorded volume growth in key markets including the UK (+12%), USA (+7%), Russia (+7%), and Ireland (+4%). Within the broader Jameson family, Jameson Black Barrel posted volume growth of 31% globally versus the same period last year, successfully capturing the growing consumer trend toward more premium brands.

Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, said: “Despite an extremely difficult environment, we had a solid start to the financial year, with sales of Jameson Irish whiskey showing resilience by growing 3% in the first half of the year.

“Jameson sold 4.75 million cases, which was its highest ever volumes in the first half of the year. This was aided by sales of over 2 million cases in the US in the first half of the year for the second year in row but was also buoyed by growth in other key markets including the UK, Russia, and Ireland. The brand also saw continued growth in emerging markets including Nigeria, India, and Brazil.

“The ready-to-drink (RTD) category has exploded in recent years, and the trend continued in 2020 with Jameson RTD range up by 42% in value compared to the first half of the previous year due to growth in the Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada.

“While our results reflect increased demand in the off-trade outlets, the pandemic continues to present challenging business conditions for our partners in hospitality, the on-trade and global travel retail. We understand that it will take some time for those sectors to recover and reach pre‐pandemic growth levels, but we are optimistic for the future and confident that they will rebound and emerge even stronger than before.”

The single pot still Irish whiskey category continues its resurgence, driven by value growth in Redbreast (+33%) which saw the addition of a new permanent expression to the family with the launch of Redbreast 27 year old in March 2020. Value growth was also seen across the Spot range (+31%), with the reimagined Blue Spot unveiled in November, reuniting the historic Spot family for the first time in over half a century.

“The trend of premiumisation continues apace as more and more consumers choose higher quality spirits, with Redbreast, the Spot range, and Method and Madness achieving their highest ever volume sales, with the Midleton range seeing significant value growth (+46%) driven by the US, UK, Irish, German, and Canadian markets.” added McQuaid.

“Distilling is an artform and one steeped in tradition, but we continue to challenge the conventions of tradition and explore new and exciting innovations in the process and innovation remains a key driver of Irish Distillers’ growth. Our team in Midleton continues to excite and delight whiskey fans around the world with our growing portfolio of superlative expressions of the world’s favourite Irish whiskey brands. Despite the considerable current challenges, we remain positive about the future growth opportunity for our portfolio globally.”