Sales of whisky products in South Korea fell in the first quarter of 2014 from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday, apparently as demand for pricey liquor decreased amid a prolonged economic slump.
Whisky sales reached 431,455 boxes in the January-March period, down 4.3 percent from the 450,934 boxes tallied a year ago, industry data showed. A box contains 18 0.5-liter bottles.
Diageo Korea Co., the South Korean unit of the British liquor company, sold 174,319 boxes during the period, down 3.1 percent from a year ago, taking the top spot in the local whisky market.
Pernod Ricard Korea, the local unit of France's Pernod Ricard Group, known for its Chivas Regal and Ballantine's brands, sold 123,347 boxes in the first quarter, down 3.1 percent from a year earlier.
Coming in third, South Korea's Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., with its Scotch Blue brand, suffered a 24.5 percent on-year drop to 59,341 boxes in the three-month period, the data also showed.
Market watchers, however, said the downturn in local whisky sales is expected to ease in 2014, as the first-quarter drop slowed sharply from the 12.8 percent on-year plunge posted for the entire 2013. (Yonhap)