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UK spirits producers braced for Brexit impact

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The UK spirits industry is preparing itself for short-term losses following the UK's decision to leave the European Union. 

Yesterday, Britain voted 52% to 48% in favour of leaving the EU. Immediately following the referendum, the Pound dropped to its lowest level against the US Dollar since 1985. 

Warren Scott, CEO & co-founder of London-headquartered Quintessential Brands, said he was mindful of the impact of the UK's decision. 

"Like all major international drinks companies with substantial business in the UK, we at Quintessential Brands Group are concerned about the short-term impact of Brexit, particularly because of the expected downturn in the UK economy and the relatively competitive position of our trading companies in the UK," he said. 

Scott suggested the company's increased global presence may form part of future plans. 
 
"In the longer term, we view the prospects for our business in a different light," he said. "With manufacturing and sales operations in Ireland, France, USA and Australia, in addition to the UK, the Quintessential Brands Group has the opportunity to exploit its geographical spread and to select the best manufacturing and route-to-market solutions for both its own brands and its contract-manufacture and private label customers."

Meanwhile, UK gin distillers Sipsmith and Brighton Gin have said their export ambitions would remain firmly on the agenda. 

Sipsmith founder Sam Galsworthy said "well over a quarter" of his business is international. 

"Exports will continue to be an important part of our growth and we look forward to sharing our gin with discerning sippers across the globe," he said. 

In Brighton & Hove, on England's south coast, residents voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Brighton Gin co-founder Helen Chesshire said the UK's decision to Brexit would not hamper export plans. 

"It is very difficult to tell what will happen but we have to honour the decision the majority has made and know that in the long term, the country will be better off," she said. "We will continue our export drive into fellow-EU countries and beyond."

For the latest industry reaction, click here: The UK Referendum - just-drinks Live Blog


Sectors: Legislation, Spirits

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