The UB Group is snapping at Diageos heels in volume terms

The UB Group is snapping at Diageo's heels in volume terms

The UB Group is targeting becoming the world’s largest spirits manufacturer by volume next year.

With US$8.5bn in sales last year, the firm believes it has already become the second largest spirits company ahead of Pernod Ricard and just behind Diageo.

“With more than 100m potential [Indian] consumers entering the legal drinking age in the next five years, the opportunity for growth is tremendous”, the company said in a statement earlier this week.

During its last financial year, UB has estimated that the world’s top 100 spirits brands collectively grew only 1% while 18 of the top 25 global premium brands lost ground.

“We are certain that our additional sales in the next financial year (April 2010–March 2011) will take us to the number one position globally,” said company chairman Vijay Mallya.

The group's United Spirits arm saw sales of its flagship brands, led by McDowell's whisky, grow by 14% in the year to the end of March.