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Jameson boosts Pernod’s strong H1 results

Pernod Ricard has reported a “very good” performance in the first half of its 2018 fiscal year, led by Jameson Irish whiskey and Martell Cognac.

Jameson Irish whiskey and Martell Cognac bolstered Pernod Ricard’s 2018 fiscal year sales

In the six months to 31 December 2017, the French drinks group saw organic sales climb 5.1% to €5,082 billion (US$6.2bn), while reported growth was up by 0.4% due to negative exchange rates.

Group share of net profit increased 25% on a reported basis to €1.147bn (US$1.4bn), following a “one-off” sale of bulk Scotch inventory and a French tax reimbursement. Free cash flow “increased very strongly”, up 21% to €799m (US$977m).

The group said that performance accelerated due to its medium-term growth roadmap, with all regions and categories performing well.

Pernod highlighted Martell Cognac (+10%) and Jameson Irish whiskey (+12%) as strong performers. The only two ‘Strategic International Brands’ to experience an organic sales loss were Ricard apéritif and Royal Salute blended Scotch.

Overall, the company’s ‘Strategic Local Brands’ witnessed a 5% organic sales growth, led by Seagram’s Indian whiskies, Olmeca and Altos Tequilas and an “improved trend” for Imperial Scotch whisky in Korea.

Meanwhile, Monkey 47 gin, Lillet apéritif and Avion Tequila also drove growth. Last month, Pernod completed its acquisition of the remaining stake in Avión Spirits, owner of Avión Tequila, for an undisclosed sum.

In terms of regions, improvement was mainly driven by Asia, in particular China, India and Asia travel retail.

The Americas witnessed a 6% increase, with Asia and the rest of world up by 7%, and a “continued good performance” from Europe, up by 3%.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said: “H1 FY18 was a very good semester, with an acceleration vs. FY17, in particular in China, India and global travel retail.

“For FY18, we will maintain our focus on digital, innovation and operational excellence (including pricing). We expect sustained and diversified growth to continue across our regions and brands.”

Pernod Ricard has increased its estimated organic growth for FY18 profit from recurring operations to between +4% and +5%.

The company also announced today that its Chivas Brothers CEO Laurent Lacassagne will be replaced by Irish Distillers CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures amid a raft of executive staffing changes, which will also see Christian Porta step into the newly created position of managing director, global business development.

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