Despite a global decline in alcohol sales, the Middle East is still supporting a healthy appetite for Scotch whiskey, according to the 2009 preliminary sales results of Diageo, the global alcoholic drinks provider. Diageo, which owns and produces Smirnoff, Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan and Jose Cuervo, managed to turn a profit in this year of economic turmoil, according to their figures released on August 31. As Western markets continue to suffer from the effects of the downturn, the Middle East and other emerging markets are taking the lead in terms of growth in the industry.
“Johnnie Walker is the biggest Scotch whiskey in this part of the world,” said Gilbert Ghostine, Diageo’s Asia Pacific president. Ghostine also stated that the Middle East is just one of the emerging markets that Diageo will be concentrating on in the future.