Beam opened its investigation last year

Beam opened its investigation last year

Beam Inc has refuted claims that an ongoing corruption investigation in India has knocked Teacher's off its perch, saying latest data shows it remains the country's top Scotch whisky brand.

A Beam spokesperson told just-drinks today (8 February) that the internal investigation, launched last year, has impacted market share. But he added: “The most recent Nielsen data indicates Teacher's market-leading position in India has not changed.”

The Times of India reported today that a Beam probe into alleged breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act within the company's India unit has allowed Pernod Ricard's 100 Pipers to bypass Teacher's as the country's top-selling Scotch. Citing its own analysis of industry data, the newspaper said 100 Pipers' share has risen from 29% to 33%. Before the investigation, Teacher's held a 36% to 37% share, the newspaper said.

The Beam spokesperson said equity in Teacher's remains strong and that the company expects market share to “trend favourably in the coming months”.

“We are looking ahead in India, we remain committed to the market, and we are confident in our long-term prospects there,” the spokesperson said.

just-drinks understands that Beam has scaled back operations in India since the allegations were reported, and is cautious over doing business with distributors while the internal investigation is ongoing.

In Beam's full-year results released last week, Teacher's posted a 1% year-on-year sales rise. Core Jim Beam brand, which accounts for about 20% of Beam's global sales, saw a 10% year-on-year sales rise.