Diageo, which is the largest producer of Scotch whisky in the world with around a third of the global market, has profited in recent years from the popularity of Bells, J&B, and market leader Johnnie Walker. In just five years, sales have grown 50%: Diageo is set to make a predicted £3bn from Scotch alone this financial year.
The £1bn investment may seem a hefty sum to spend on a relatively low output industry. Whisky is only technically whisky after it has been left to mature for three years, after all. Hardly a lightning-speed manufacturing process. But the vast margins make up for the trouble, with just one bottle of single malt selling for upwards of £500 in some quarters…
And Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh reckons that this will remain a high-growth market for the company: ‘Scotch whisky is a significant manufacturing export industry,’ he says.
MT will down a dram to that.