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Rémy Cointreau sales fall 33.2% in Q1

French drinks group Rémy Cointreau saw its organic sales drop 33.2% in the first quarter of its financial year as a result of on-trade closures and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rémy Cointreau’s Q1 sales were impacted by the closure of the on-trade and travel retail

In the three months to the end of June 2020, Rémy Cointreau posted total sales of €150.1 million (US$173m), down from €223.2m (US$257m) in the same period last year.

The Rémy Martin owner had predicted that its sales could be down 50-55% in Q1 after the producer was “heavily affected” by the Covid-19 pandemic during the fourth quarter of its 2019/20 fiscal year.

Sales at the house of Rémy Martin declined organically by 39.2% in the first quarter, impacted by destocking in most major markets and a slump in duty-free sales.

In the liqueurs and spirits division, sales were down 17% on an organic basis. However, Cointreau liqueur’s sales were up slightly over the period on an organic basis due to growth in the US, Germany and the UK, where “consumption of cocktails at home made up for the closure of the on-trade channel”.

Rémy Cointreau posted declining sales for Mount Gay rum, Greek spirit Metaxa, St-Rémy brandy, The Botanist Gin and its whisky brands.

The French company also saw sales of partner brands decline 21.2% on an organic basis due to lower consumption of spirits while countries in Western Europe were locked down.

Looking ahead, Rémy Cointreau said it “remains confident of its abilities to emerge stronger from the crisis”.

The group now expects current operating profit to be down 35-40% on an organic basis in the first half of financial year 2020/21, compared with previous expectations of a 45-50% decline.

The producer said the second half of 2020/21 should see a “strong recovery, buoyed by the US and Mainland China”.

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