Irish drink exports worth €1.4 billion

Ability of drinks manufacturing sector to reach its full potential has been put at risk by excise increases in the last two budgets, says DIGI

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15 September 2014 | 0

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Irish drinks exports are worth €1.4 billion, with the drinks manufacturing sector exporting 45% of its total turnover, according to new research released by The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).

The data comes from the 2012 Census of Industrial Production (CIP), published recently by the CSO. This shows that total investment by the sector was €118.4 million in 2012.

Tom Burke, senior executive at the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) highlighted how the drinks manufacturing sector employs close to 3,500 people across the country directly, supporting thousands of job indirectly from grain to glass. It has a wage and salary pay-out of €209.6million, meaning that the average wages and salaries amongst drinks manufacturers are the highest of the manufacturing sectors. What’s more, the manufacturing drinks sector had a total turnover value of €3.1 billion, with a domestic market turnover of €1.7bn.

Burke described the industry as “an exciting sector that’s going through considerable development” but cautioned: “The ability of the sector to reach its full potential and achieve sustainable growth is being put at risk by the government who have increased excise on alcohol in the last two budgets. Irish drinks manufacturers, such as the small whiskey producers, will be unable to sell their high-quality products in the home market, which will have a knock on effect on Irish farmers and publicans hoping to get a boost from the exciting developments in the sector.”

Tony Foley, economist at DCU and author of the report said: “The data released recently by the CSO illustrates just how important the drinks manufacturing sector is to the Irish economy. In total, the sector invested €118.4 million in the Irish economy in 2012. Since then, we have seen large investments taking place across the sector, with Diageo announcing a €169 million in a new brewery at St. James’s Gate which was opened last week and Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard announcing an investment of €200 million in its Midleton Distillery and maturation facility in Cork last year.”

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