Diageo announces £1bn Scotch investment programme

6th June, 2012 by Becky Paskin

Diageo has revealed plans to invest over £1bn into Scotch whisky production over the next five years in order to meet escalating global demand for its brands.

Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky production

Diageo's power brand Johnnie Walker will get a production boost over the next five years

As part of its investment, Diageo intends to build a new £500m malt distillery while expanding a number of the group’s existing distilleries. Plans are also in place for an additional, second new distillery should Scotch consumption maintain expected growth levels.

To cope with the increased output, Diageo will also invest £500m in a “substantial” new warehousing facility.

Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo, said the announcement marks a “pivotal moment” in the development of the group’s Scotch whisky brands, net sales of which have grown by 50% in the last five years.

“Over recent years our brands have achieved remarkable, sustained global growth,” he said. “We expect that success to continue, particularly in the high growth markets around the world, which is why we are announcing this major investment in Scotch whisky production, committing over £1billion in the next five years, to seize that opportunity for global growth.

“This builds on the foundations we have already laid down over recent years through sustained investment in both production assets and in maturing Scotch inventories.”

Scotch now accounts for a third of Diageo’s gross profits, and is expected to reach £3bn in net sales by the end of this financial year.

Emerging market growth

The global Scotch whisky category is expected to maintain a steady +3% growth each year for the next decade, according to analysts from Redburn. Growth is forecast to be greater in the emerging markets than in the developed world, with “the most interesting” opportunity for consumption coming from India.

“This is an important inflection point which highlights the broad-based appeal the product has achieved; a diversification of demand that underwrites the record levels of raw spirit being produced today,” said Chris Pitcher, partner of beverages and tobacco research at Redburn.

“But the opportunity stretches beyond raw consumption growth. Borrowing from the Cognac industry, where premium brands account for over 50% of consumption, there is huge scope to grow premium and deluxe Scotches, which today account for only 27% of industry volume. Scotch has genuine luxury credentials and both Diageo and Pernod, the two leading Scotch distillers, are investing behind this opportunity.”

Pernod Ricard also recently announced a £40m investment into its Chivas Brothers business to expand its distilleries at Glenallachie, Glentauchers, Tormore and Longmorn, reopen and extend the dormant Glenkeith distillery, and open a new bottling hall for ultra-premium Scotch in Paisley.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Glen Grant unveils redesign and new whiskies

Glen Grant is set to launch three new Scotch whiskies aged between 12- and more...

Haig limited edition gets ‘sensory’ activation

Diageo Global Travel & Middle East has hosted a series of large-scale more...

Redsmith brings distilling back to Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire’s first gin distillery to open in more than 100 years – more...

Scotch industry urges UK-Scottish partnership

The Scotch Whisky Association has called for the Scottish and UK governments to more...

Ex-Bacardi chief to replace Diageo chairman

Diageo has named former Bacardi CEO Javier Ferrán successor to the group’s more...

Scots drink 41 bottles of vodka at home a year

Alcohol consumption in Scotland is on the rise with the equivalent of 41 more...

Diageo to de-list debt on NY Stock Exchange

Diageo is planning to voluntarily de-list certain debt securities from the New more...

Borough Wines to house Butler's Gin distillery

Independent London merchant Borough Wines & Beers has opened its eighth venue more...

Jura manager retires after 39-year career

Willie Cochrane, manager of single malt Scotch whisky distillery Jura, has more...

Ian Macleod Distillers agrees £60m bank loan

Scotch whisky producer Ian Macleod Distillers has secured a £60 million more...

Asia to drive beverage consumption over 5 years

Asia will claim two-thirds of the world's incremental beverage consumption by more...

Tech-focused InchDairnie Distillery opens doors

Scotch whisky veteran Ian Palmer has launched the Fife-based InchDairnie more...

'Signs of recovery' for Scotch whisky exports

The Scotch whisky industry has once again been hit by global economic more...

Portobello to open multi-million pound distillery

London’s fast-growing Portobello Road Gin is set to open a new multi-million more...

Irish Distillers finalises Paddy sale to Sazerac

Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit has completed the sale of its Paddy more...

Bourbon production hits 48-year high in KY

Bourbon production in Kentucky hit a 48-year high in 2015, when 1.88 million more...

US whiskey brands 'pushing envelope' of flavour

Far from being reliant on its core expressions, American whiskey is seeking to more...

Ballantine’s Brasil touches down in Asia

Ahead of the Rio Olympics this summer, Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Asia more...

Barton 1792 unveils Full Proof Bourbon

Sazerac has launched the latest limited edition release from its Barton 1792 more...

Western Europe on the road to recovery

The Western Europe spirits market has been a story of struggle and strife over more...