Trade tensions drive French wine and spirits exports up

French spirits exports recorded a “significant increase” of 8.8% last year amid geopolitical tension and uncertainty. Data from trade body the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (FEVS) showed that spirits exports reached €4.7 billion (US$5.1bn) with “stable volumes” at 53 million cases. French wines and spirits exports hit €14bn (US$15.1bn) in 2019, an increase of 5.9%. Wine shipments grew 4.4% to €9.3bn (US$10bn). The trade body warned that this increase was…

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Brexit: UK distillers must ’embrace a brave new world’

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is encouraging its members to “embrace a brave new world of trading” as the UK leaves the European Union (EU) today (31 January). The UK will leave the EU at 11pm tonight, but as part of the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, it will enter into a transition period until the end of 2020. During this time, the UK will no longer be a member state but will…

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The Scotch whisky brands to watch in 2020

As Brexit and trade wars threaten Scotch whisky, the category could be set to benefit from updated rules that allow for cask experimentation. We predict the brands to shake up the sector in 2020. Scotch whisky’s 2019 is a tale of two halves: one is full of hope and excitement, with updated regulations to broaden the remits of category experimentation; the other is plagued by tariffs and political uncertainty. Let’s start with the new Scotch…

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Pernod GTR boss: Adaptability is key in travel retail

Despite its challenges, travel retail is in a “much stronger” position to generate value growth than domestic retail, the CEO of Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail has said. Speaking to The Spirits Business, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (GTR) head Mohit Lal said GTR “performance has stayed strong” as traveller numbers continue to grow. According to recent Generation Research figures, the GTR market increased sales by 9.3% in 2018 to US$75.7 billion. Wine and spirits…

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Wetherspoon chairman hits out at ‘elite remainers’

Pro-Brexit JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has slammed “elite remainers” after announcing his pub chain’s annual profits tumbled by 4.5%. The chain’s profit before tax in the year to 28 July 2019 fell to £102.5 million (US$127m) due to higher costs related to real estate, however, revenue increased by 7.4% to £1.8 billion (US$2.2bn). Martin, the main shareholder in JD Wetherspoon and a staunch advocate of Britain’s exit from the EU, used the announcement of…

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