The investment over the next five years will create about 100 full-time jobs initially, with more to follow as the firm builds a new distillery in Speyside. Depending on demand, a second distillery may follow.
There also plans to extend existing distilleries and build new warehouses to store the Scotch.
The maker of Johnnie Walker, J & B and Bells whisky brands operates 28 malt distilleries and employs over 4,000 people in Scotland.
Diageo chief executive, Paul Walsh said: “This is a pivotal moment in the development of the Scotch whisky category for Diageo. Over recent years our brands have achieved remarkable, sustained global growth. Scotch whisky is Scotland’s most celebrated manufactured export, led by brands like Johnnie Walker, resonating with consumers from Boston to Beijing.”
Walsh predicted that sales would continue to rise, particularly in the high-growth markets around the world. He identified the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa as being particularly promising.
“Scotch whisky is a significant manufacturing export industry in the UK, driving domestic investment and job creation through our success in exporting to high growth markets around the world,” said Walsh. “We look forward to working with both the UK and Scottish governments to realise the full potential of our investment plan, and to continue growing global Scotch exports.”
In addition to the full-time jobs at the new distillery, the investment plan is expected to create 250 construction jobs over the five years. An extra 500 jobs in the general economy are expected to follow.
Walsh said: “I’m particularly pleased our investment will generate significant numbers of new Diageo jobs, as well as boosting the local construction sector and stimulating job creation throughout the Scottish economy.
“We are determined to use this investment to make a contribution towards helping people into training and work through our apprentice and graduate placement scheme and by using the opportunity to encourage suppliers to take on apprentices to work on the investment projects.”
Diageo sales have soared by 50% over the past five years to total £3bn in 2012. It is the largest maker of Scotch whisky and claims about one third of the market.
Whisky sales account for 23% of Diageo’s volume, 27% of net sales and a third of gross profit in the financial year 2011.
In the first half of financial year 2012, Diageo’s reported Scotch category volume growth of 8% and net sales growth of 14%.
Diageo in Scotland – at a glance
- Scotland is one of Diageo’s largest spirit supply centres responsible for producing nearly 50M cases of leading brands of Scotch whisky and white spirits.
- Produces over 4M cases of ready-to-drink brands a year.
- About 85% of Diageo’s production in Scotland is sold overseas.
Employs about 4,000 people.
- Operates 28 malt distilleries and one grain distillery and has a 50 per cent share in a further grain distillery.
- Owns the Gleneagles Hotel, host venue of the Ryder Cup 2014.