Sales of European spirits reach £58 billion in 2009

The economic contribution of Europe's spirits industry to the European economy has been revealed in a new report. The report was prepared by Ernst & Young and commissioned by CEPS – the trade body for the European spirits industry.

According to the report, sales of European spirits reached €58 billion in 2009, creating €27 bn in value added for the European economy and tax revenues of around €31 billion - a figure equivalent to the total income tax revenue of Spain or the total government expenditure of Slovakia.

The industry also creates over 900,000 jobs, around two thirds of which are in the hospitality (638,800) and retail sectors (85,200). This is more than the combined total labour force of Malta and Estonia.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Jamie Fortescue, director general of CEPS said: “Many European industries are still nursing their post-recession hangovers but this report shows that our sector continues to be an important pillar of the European economy. We create jobs, contribute significantly to government coffers and are unrivalled in terms of global exports.”

With over €5.7 billion in annual exports, the European spirits industry is the largest exporter in the agro-food sector.

“Our most important export markets are the USA, Singapore - as a transit to the Far East, Russia, China and South Africa,” added Fortescue. “Spirits exports to these countries currently generate a positive trade balance of €4.8 billion for the EU. The outlook for 2011 is even more positive, with continued strong growth in Asia in particular. Trade liberalization between the EU and important emerging markets like Korea and India will further improve our long-term prospects.”

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