Wine merchant Laithwaites Wine has concluded the purchase of Chateau du Bois, a vineyard near the village of Castillon in Bordeaux, France.

Altia, the wine and spirits group that focuses on the Nordic countries, has announced a 7.6% net sales increase to €524.8 million for the year January to December 2011.

French spirits group La Martiniquaise has finalised negotiations to take over Quartier Français Spiritueux. The financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. La Martiniquaise first announced their intention to acquire the company in early 2011. 

Chivas Brothers has launched two 17-year old Ballantine’s expressions under the new line, Signature Distillery Editions.

Gruppo Campari plans to build a US$44m bottling facility at the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky, US.

Johnnie Walker has taken first place in Brands by Value, a list of the world’s 50 most valuable drinks brands.

Pernod Ricard’s CEO Piere Pringuet has spoken out about Havana Club’s flat half-year sales growth, branding its performance “disappointing”.

Heineken has announced net profits of €1.5 billion before one-off items, an increase of 9.2%.

The European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) has launched a web-campaign to promote responsible marketing practices for alcoholic beverages. The objective is to explain in plain language how EU-wide codes of advertising should be applied.

SAB Miller’s group chief brewer is to retire. Professor Barry Axcell will step down at the end of July 2012.

Diageo has delivered 3% volume growth and 7% organic net sales increase for the six months ended December 31, 2011.

Exports of Austrian wine by value have exceeded estimates as a result of higher prices and a decline in bulk wine.

The Scotch Whisky Association has launched a report, which outlines the number of jobs supported by the scotch whisky industry. 

Heineken USA has appointed Brian Fried as regional vice president sales, western region, effective immediately.

Global business consultancy McKinney Rogers has appointed a former Bacardi USA president to its board.

Beam Inc, the US-based global spirits company, has reported full-year net sales increases of 8%.

Annual sales of cognac are worth €2 billion thanks to a surge in XO and VSOP sales in the Far East, says the Cognac Bureau (BNIC).

Pernod Ricard USA has announced the appointment of Southern Wine & Spirits of America as its spirits and wine distributor in the state of Washington.

First Drinks will be the new UK distributor of CEDC brands Zubrówka Bison Grass Vodka and Green Mark - the world's fourth largest vodka.

Former Diageo northern Europe managing director Benet Slay has become to the chief executive of Carlsberg UK.

Entries are now being taken for the International Cider Challenge.

Beam makes senior appoint

25 January, 2012

Beam, the US-based global premium spirits company, has announced that Arthur Aroney will join the organisation as managing director of Emerging Markets for its Asia Pacific/South America (APSA) region.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has signed a five-year exclusive agreement to distribute Beam brands in Poland.

Pernod Ricard UK has announced the following senior appointments within its executive committee and senior management group with immediate effect.

French wine is the ideal

18 January, 2012

French wine is the favourite of regular wine drinkers in the UK and China and the second preference in Germany, says Wine Intelligence.

SAB Miller is to launch a trial of its Miller Genuine Draft brand in the Zhejjang region of China.

Jägermeister parent company Mast-Jägermeister has appointed Denis Schrey to its management team.

Diageo has announced a €153 million investment into a ‘brewing centre of excellence’ in Dublin.

A man has been found dead at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland. According to several newspapers,  Brian Ettles died in a 16ft washback.

Diageo has completed the acquisition of the Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia for US$225 million.

There is unlikely to be any ice wine from Germany this year because of the mild winter north west Europe is experiencing.

Sparkling sparkles in US

09 January, 2012

US consumption of imported sparkling wine will reach new heights in 2012 due to the increased penetration of prosecco and cava, says Wine Intelligence. 

LVMH has appointed new chief executive officers for its champagne brands Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

The 2012 Pre-mixed Drinks Challenge was Drinks International’s fourth examination of the category and our most wide-ranging yet.

Budvar has reported record export results for 2011.

Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a non-profit trade association, has announced its new board of directors for 2012.

UK: Grupo Codorníu has made four appointments. Carolyn d’Aguilar and Susannah Bearne move internally to roles in the marketing department while Jake Crimmin and Tom Barton join the UK sales team.

Fine wine prices fell 15% in 2011, fine wine index Liv-ex has reported.

The European Union and the US Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) have welcomed a decision that finds the Philippines to be in breach of trade rules when it comes to tax on imported spirits.

Beam Inc has announced an agreement to purchase Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

Russian Standard Corporation (RSC) has acquired a 70% stake in Italian wine company Gancia. 

Direct Wines, the world's largest independent wine merchant with a turnover of £350 million, has announced major changes to its buying and merchandising teams.

Heineken has declared an intention to increase its share in a brewery in Haiti to 95%.

Russian Standard Corporation has proposed the additional acquisition of nearly 20% of Central European Distribution Corporation’s (CEDC) shares as part of a "strategic alliance". 

US consumer goods company Rok Stars has stuck a deal with Castle Trade Services to launch its recently acquired Oval vodka in the UK.

Brown-Forman has reported double-digit half-year net sales growth after a strong performance from its Jack Daniel's brand. 

Vodka company Russian Standard has purchased a 9.9% share in CEDC (Central European Distribution Corporation) for $25.35 million.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has confirmed it will spend €100m on the 2012 expansion of its Midleton Single Distillery, the site where Jameson is produced.

Rémy Cointreau has attributed its positive half-year profits to “remarkable” growth in Asia and “strong” performances in the US and Europe.

Diageo has opened a £10 million cooperage in Scotland.

Comment

Hamish Smith

The end of craft?

If you want to know where the spirits industry is headed, you could do worse than look at beer.

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