Irish Distillers has confirmed it is considering the construction of a new distillery in Ireland as global sales of its Jameson whiskey brand continue to soar.
The company, part of France's Pernod Ricard drinks giant, had been reported to be plotting the new distillery, which looks set to be in a new location away from its distilling epicentre in Midleton, Co Cork.
Irish Distillers' chief executive and chairman Conor McQuaid said yesterday that there are "no plans in place at the moment" and that the report was "premature".
However, the company later issued a statement confirming that a new distillery is one of the options being examined.
"We are currently examining all options to increase our production capacity to meet projected demand and building a new distillery is one of them," it said.
It added: "Our objective is to drive the growth of our portfolio of premium Irish whiskey brands supported by the strength of the Pernod Ricard global distribution network. We take a long term view and naturally, as we grow, there are implications for our business."
Sales of Jameson have jumped, with 7.3m cases of the whiskey having been sold around the world in the 12 months to the end of June. It also confirms Jameson's position as one of the top four whiskey brands in the world.
Almost half of Jameson sales, or 3.5m cases, were in the United States in the last financial year. The value of Jameson sales in the US rose 14% in the period, mirroring the 14% growth of the brand across the world.
The total number of cases sold in the period represented volume growth of 12%.