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Asia boosts full-year sales for Pernod Ricard

Jameson and Absolut maker Pernod Ricard has reported an organic full-year sales increase of 6% to €8.98 billion (US$10.47bn), bolstered by “strong growth” in China and India.

Alexandre Ricard has praised FY18 as a “strong year”

In the year to 30 June 2018, reported sales, which take into account exchange rate movements and acquisitions/divestments, were down 0.3%. Profit from recurring operations hit €2.35bn (US$2.74bn), an organic increase of 6.3% compared to FY17.

The French drinks group’s combined Asia and ‘rest of the world’ region, including China and India, accelerated 9%. “Continued dynamism” bolstered the Americas region, up 6%, while Europe recorded “modest growth” of 2%.

Sales of Pernod Ricard’s ‘strategic brands’ increased 7%, with 11 out of 13 in growth. The only two to decline were anis brand Ricard and blended Scotch Royal Salute – however, Chivas Regal returned to buoyancy with 5% growth. The group’s total Scotch portfolio grew 3% in the year.

Jameson Irish whiskey and Martell Cognac were the top-performing brands, both recording growth of 14%. Absolut continued its rebound with a 2% gain, but failed to turn around its US decline.

According to Pernod Ricard, innovation is “contributing significantly” to its topline growth, while profit was bolstered by “improved” pricing, operational savings and “tight management” of structure costs.

Alexandre Ricard, group chairman and CEO, said: “FY18 was a very strong year. Consistent strategic implementation has enabled us to deliver a significant improvement in business performance while investing for the future. Our sales have accelerated and diversified, and our margins improved.”

The CEO added that despite the continuing “uncertain geopolitical and monetary environment”, its forecasted FY19 profit growth sits between 5% and 7%.

Pernod Ricard is proposing a dividend of €2.36 (US$2.75) ahead of its AGM on 21 November 2018, up 17% compared to FY17.

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