Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, February 4, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, February 4, 2014



The Teeling Whiskey Company (TWC) has revealed plans to open a new whiskey distillery in Dublin’s Newmarket Square in The Liberties. The €10 million investment will create 30 new jobs in the distillery and 50 during the construction stage. The project will be the first established distillery in Dublin for over 125 years and aims to produce 500,000 litres of whiskey each year. Jack Teeling, founder and managing director of TWC said, "We are proud to be returning to our ancestral distilling roots which trace back to 1782 in The Liberties. This project will bring distilling back to an area of Dublin long associated with world class whiskey which at one stage had 37 different operational distilleries." 

Drinks group Britvic revealed last week that it is on target to reach earnings of £148-156 million for its full year earnings before tax and interest. According to the company’s interim statement, group revenue increased 3% in the first quarter ending December 22, 2013. Britvic’s Irish operations saw revenue growth of 2.1% while the UK operations grew by 1.5%. Revenues for Britvic’s international unit generated growth of 5.6%, and in France alone were up by 4.8% in the period. Britvic CEO Simon Litherfield said that trading for the start of the second quarter is already ahead of last year. "We delivered a robust first quarter performance in each of our core markets, despite a challenging consumer environment. We continued to make good progress implementing our new strategy and remain on-track to deliver our cost reduction initiatives as planned this year."

The Small Firms Association is hosting a SFA National Small Business Showcase at the Printworks Conference Centre at Dublin Castle later today. The event brings together 35 of Ireland’s best small businesses, all finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2014, offering business owners the chance to share insight and learn from some of the leading small enterprises in the country. Minister for Small Business, John Perry, TD will be visiting the Showcase, in addition to over 1,000 small business owner-managers. Businesses scheduled to attend include Bfree Foods, Eight Degrees Brewing, Keohane Seafoods, Oishii Foods, Titan Logistics and Trudies Catering Kitchen.


The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children heard from a number of groups last Thursday, with the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Asthma Society, ASH Ireland, the Children’s Rights Alliance, Tipperary Regional Youth Service and the ISPCC all taking part in the latest round of hearings. Representative bodies from the retail industry are expected to attend hearings next week.

Origin Enterprises, the agri-services firm, has bought a 60% stake in Agroscope, a Ukrainian agri-services company for €12.72 million. Agroscope is based in Kiev and has over 150 employees and 1,200 customers. The company has forecast revenues of €77.9 million and €5.21 million in earnings for the year end December 2013. Origin Enterprises has operations in Ireland, the UK and Poland where it has leading positions in the supply of specialist agronomy services, crop nutrition and feed ingredients. 

Kepak Group is undergoing a review at its Hacketstown lamb slaughtering plant in County Carlow. The review is to examine if the site is commercially viable as part of a "wider group business investment plan", according to Kepak’s statement issued last week. Currently, 50 people are employed at the plant, which processes lamb carcasses only. The plant has seen reductions in output since 2003, with a 50% decline, and operates on a two and three day week. The Irish Farmers Association has expressed its concerns about the possible changes at the facility. Kepak will make a decision in the next six weeks after completing its review.

Aldi buying director Malachy O'Connor is set to join Tesco, reporting to the retailer's commercial director in Ireland, John Paul O'Reilly, according to the Irish Independent. O'Connor has a long history in grocery retail, having worked as a category trading manager at BWG Foods, fresh food buyer at Superquinn and a buyer at Dunnes Stores. The appointment follows a management shakeup at Aldi, which saw the business effectively split in two last year, with Niall O'Connor appointed head of Aldi's Mitchelstown operation, and Donald Mackay become MD of Aldi Naas.

Eoin Kellett, grocery sales director at Mondelez International, David Berry, commercial director, Kantar Worldpanel, Brian Magennis, head of retail, Britvic Ireland and Mark Aherne, head of sales retail & pharmacy, Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland will be presenting at the annual Sales Institute of Ireland FMCG Outlook event, taking place at the O'Callaghan Alexander Hotel, Dublin 2, tomorrow morning (5 February) from 7.30am. Tickets are priced at €80 for non Sales Institute of Ireland members, and are free for members. For more information, visit 


Applegreen Director Joe Barrett and Topaz Marketing Director Paul Candon have launched Stop Smuggling, Ireland’s first public awareness campaign about fuel and tobacco smuggling. The campaign is a joint initiative between Topaz, Applegreen and Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS). Fuel and tobacco smuggling is believed to cost the Exchequer €390 million a year. The campaign aims to spread the message that buying goods and products illegally puts Irish businesses and jobs at risk, and supports organised crime. Paul Candon, Marketing Director, Topaz said: “Supporting fuel laundering and tobacco smuggling is bad for everyone except criminals and we’re calling on the public not to buy on the black market.”

Guinness has reported a 1% decline in global sales during the second half of 2013. The fall has been attributed to declining beer markets in core regions Ireland and Nigeria. Diageo, Guinness’s parent company on the other hand, generated almost a 2% increase in group net sales in the period. Diageo reported net sales of over €7.2 billion (1.8%+) for the six months to the end of December 2013, the first half of the company’s financial year. Despite a 1% decline in sales in Western Europe, Diageo enjoyed a near 5% sales increase in North America and a 1.3% rise in first-half sales in emerging markets. Diageo’s net sales have fallen year-on-year by 6% due to declining beer sales. Net sales of Guinness in Ireland fell by 6% but the brand still dominates a 32.04% share of the Irish market; meaning that one in every three pints sold in pubs here is a Guinness. 

Shoplifting rates in Ireland rose by more than 10% over the 2013 Christmas period, with an estimated €2 million a day stolen during the time. This equates to an estimated €250 million worth of goods stolen yearly from Irish retailers by shoplifters. Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) CEO Mark Fielding said, "There is no doubt that shoplifting rates have increased and, frankly, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that shoplifting had double-digit growth over December. It is certainly true to say that our members are deeply concerned about the level of thefts and the impact it is having on their business at a very difficult trading time." ISME and retail grocery group RGDATA have called for a reform of the judicial system when it comes to shoplifting. Currently just one in 20 convicted shoplifters receive jail time, and one in four of those arrested for the crime were found to reoffend again in the 12 months following arrest. The retailer groups want a fast-track system for shoplifting crimes and exclusion orders to keep repeat offenders away from the stores they shoplifted in. 

For those of you that attended the Checkout Conference, in association with Rabobank, last week, we would very much like to hear your feedback. If you have a couple of minutes to spare, we would very much appreciate if you could click here, and offer us your thoughts about the event. Many thanks.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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