September 2014: Diageo

Company of the Month | Fri 3 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
Ian Hyland, Business & Finance; David Smith, Diageo;John Farrelly, SAS Ireland

Diageo continues to invest in Ireland and the opening of its new Guinness brewery at St James’s gate is testament to its commitment and future here.

With annual exports of more than €1bn, Diageo Ireland is one of Ireland’s most important exporters in the food and beverages sectors. The organisation employs approximately 1,500 people in its production facilities in Ireland. In addition, up to 18,900 jobs are supported indirectly by Diageo Ireland.

Recently, Diageo made a €169m investment in its St James’s Gate Brewery which will consolidate all brewing by Diageo in Ireland and make St James’s Gate one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable breweries in the world.

In September, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was joined by Diageo plc CEO, Ivan Menezes to officially open ‘Brewhouse No.4’ at the company’s Dublin headquarters. Currently Diageo exports more than €1bn in product from the site to over 130 countries while the Guinness Flavour Essence, which is produced at St James’s Gate, enables further brewing of Guinness in 50 countries around the world.

Brewhouse No.4 is 10,000m2 and was the largest construction project in Ireland in 2012. It uses state-of-the-art technology and processes to minimise energy consumption and greatly reduce environmental impact, ensuring that Diageo remains an industry leader in the area of sustainability.

“Ireland has a worldwide reputation for quality food and drink production and this new €169m investment in the heart of Dublin will help contribute to our export led recovery,” An Taoiseach said.

Ivan Menezes, speaking at the opening added: “This is a great day for Diageo and a great day for Guinness, one of the most iconic brands, not just in Ireland, but around the world. Our decision back in late 2011 to invest in St James’s Gate represented a €169m vote of confidence by Diageo in Guinness and in our beer business. It also represented a major vote of confidence in the Irish economy itself. Diageo’s operations in Ireland support the employment of 20,000 people in the Irish economy, not least through our purchase of goods and services to the value of €350m a year.”

Brewhouse No.4 brings together all brewing operations to St James Gate and by consolidating all of its operations to one site Diageo is ensuring the long-term sustainability and global competitiveness of its brewing operations. “Brewhouse No.4 will support the growth in our exports’ market and Diageo’s ambitions for further growth,” Menezes added.

About the county director

David Smith became country director for Diageo Ireland in July 2011, replacing John Kennedy who is now COO for Diageo Western European.

As country director, Smith is responsible for leading the Ireland spirits and beer business by driving the commercial agenda and encouraging a countrywide customer-centric focus. He also leads Diageo Ireland’s external agenda, with key Government, media, trade and consumer stakeholders.

Smith first joined ‘Guinness’ as a marketeer on a graduate scheme in the UK over 20 years ago. A six-year period marketing for Cadburys was followed 12 years ago by his return to Diageo as marketing director for Guinness in the UK. He then moved into field sales and became sales director at Diageo GB, his first general manager’s job before moving to Dublin in 2011 to take up the post of country director.

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Business & Finance, Company of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with SAS Ireland, recognises excellence in business through the ‘Company of the Month’ award. The Company of the Month award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.