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Rémy Cointreau reports ‘strong’ full-year sales

French drinks group Rémy Cointreau posted full-year sales growth of 7.8% in 2018/19, driven by a double-digit gain for its Cognac portfolio.

Rémy Martin Cognac posted a double-digit growth of 11.9%
Rémy Martin Cognac posted a double-digit growth of 11.9%

Total sales for the 12 months to 31 March 2019 reached €1.21 billion (US$1.35bn), with Rémy Cointreau’s own brand portfolio contributing 9.8% organic growth. The group delivered “sustained” organic sales growth of 7% in the fourth quarter, despite the “negative impact” of the earlier timing of the Chinese New Year.

Geographically, Asia Pacific witnessed “very strong growth” driven by the company’s entire brand portfolio. The Americas continued to experience “strong momentum” boosted by market share gains in the US.

The Europe, Middle East & Africa region was “penalised” due to the end of distribution contacts with partner brands. The UK and Russia provided “solid” performances.

Rémy Martin Cognac posted double-digit growth of 11.9%, with “remarkable growth” across all geographical areas. Asia Pacific experienced “strong growth” in Greater China and Southeast Asia, while the Americas witnessed “strong momentum”.

The brand benefited from the “global success” of the limited edition VSOP Matt W Moore bottle, the performance of its XO, supported by “sustained investments”, and the opening of Rémy Martin houses in London, Moscow, Chengdu and Shenzhen.

The liqueur and spirits portfolio grew by 4% with Cointreau orange liqueur achieving “good growth”, particularly during the second half of the fiscal year. The brand’s Art of the Mix campaign helped to boost growth.

Greek spirit Metaxa recorded a “slight decline” after several years of “very strong growth”. The decrease was attributed to the brand’s “accelerated move upmarket”, which included a focus on high-quality expressions such as Metaxa 12 Stars.

Mount Gay rum’s performance was “mixed” as the brand seeks to reposition itself.

St-Rémy brandy performed well during the period, boosted by the “success” of its limited edition French Chardonnay Cask Finish and a refocus on its XO, along with an “effective” digital campaign in Canada.

The Botanist gin continued its “strong growth” across all regions, while the whisky division witnessed an “excellent year” due to the #WeAreIslay campaign and the new Port Charlotte bottle.

The company’s ‘partner brands’ declined by 12.7% as a result of the termination of new distribution contracts. The dissolution of the contracts is in line with Rémy Cointreau’s strategy to refocus on its group brands.

“With full-year sales in line with the group’s forecasts, Rémy Cointreau confirms its guidance of growth in current operating profit for the financial year 2018/19, assuming constant exchange rates and consolidation scope,” the company said in a statement.

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