Pernod Ricard sales boosted by JamesonBy Nicola Carruthers
Pernod Ricard’s 2018/19 nine-month sales climbed 6.3% to €7.18 billion (US$8.07bn) driven by Martell Cognac and Jameson Irish whiskey.
Year-to-date sales were also boosted by double-digit growth in emerging markets, which grew 15%.
The Asia and rest of the world region grew sales by 12% bolstered by “dynamic growth” in China and India.
The Americas saw sales increase by 3% with a “good performance” in the US as the company started optimising wholesaler inventory in the market.
Europe witnessed a 1% sales growth with “very good” sales in Eastern Europe but “contrasted performance” in Western Europe.
During the first nine months of its 2018 fiscal year, Pernod Ricard’s strategic international brands posted an 8% increase collectively, driven by Martell, Jameson, Scotch whisky, Beefeater gin, Perrier-Jouët Champagne, and “strong price/mix”.
Strategic local brands grew 10%, driven by Seagram’s Indian whiskies.
The French firm’s speciality brands witnessed “continued strong development”, reporting a 14% increase. The growth was attributed to Lillet apéritif, Monkey 47 gin, “higher-style” Irish whiskey and Altos Tequila.
The nine-month results were released just a day after Pernod Ricard announced it had signed a deal to acquire Italian super-premium gin Malfy – the sixth gin to join the firm’s stable.
Third quarter results
Meanwhile, the company’s third quarter organic sales increased by 2.3%.
The Americas region grew 2% with “improving performance” in Latin America.
Asia-rest of the world increased by 3% during Q3, with “sustainable growth management” of Martell Cognac after the Chinese New Year and a route-to-market change in Korea.
Europe increased by 2% driven by “very strong performance” in Russia and the UK, “despite commercial dispute in France and Germany”.
Alexandre Ricard, Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO, stated: “Growth was very strong and diversified in the first nine months of FY19, responding to our long-term investment strategy.
“For FY19, in an environment that remains uncertain, we aim to continue dynamic and diversified growth across our regions and brands. We expect organic growth in profit from recurring operations of c.+8%.
“We will continue to roll out our strategic plan ‘Transform & Accelerate’, focused on investing for sustainable and profitable long-term growth.”
The company is currently facing pressure from the arrival of activist investor Elliott Management Corporation, which swooped in and brought a 2.5% stake in Pernod Ricard worth almost €1bn (US$1.13bn) in December 2018.