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Scotch whisky exports at record high as new chairman announced

Published:  02 December, 2011

Scotch whisky exports reached a new high, bolstering the UK economy to the tune of £125 per second, as the Scotch Whisky Association unveiled Edrington's Ian Curle as its new chairman.

After four years as chairman, Paul Walsh, Diageo's chief executive, announced the industry export figures for the first three quarters of 2011, which show Scotch Whisky earning £125 every second for the UK balance of payments. The exports value over the nine month period was up 23% on last year to almost £3billion.

Walsh said: "As the latest export figures show, the industry is enjoying a tremendous period of growth around the world, making it one of the most important manufactured exports the UK produces. That growth is also helping drive investment by the industry in Scotland and so benefitting both the UK and Scottish economies."

Curle has been with The Edrington Group since 1986 and chief executive since 2004. He said: "Scotch Whisky is an iconic product and it will continue to be a prime asset and export for Scotland and the UK. With the support of governments at home and abroad to achieve fairer taxation and reduction of trade barriers, the industry can reach even higher levels. The European Union is vital to this work."

He said future priorities for the SWA include completion of the negotiations between the European Union and India on a Free Trade Agreement, a change to UK duty, and the environment.

Pierre Pringuet, global chief executive of Pernod Ricard, will be vice chairman of the SWA.