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Marie Brizard sales rise by 5.9% in H1

French drinks group Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) saw sales increase by 5.9% to €86.4 million (US$88.2m) in the first half of 2022.

MBWS saw growth in both its France and international markets

Paris-based MBWS recorded a 5.9% increase in sales for the first six months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, when sales dropped by 5.8%.

The figures also revealed a ‘solid’ H1 performance in France, which hit revenues of €40.1m (US$40.9m) despite ‘overall slowdown’ in the spirits market, as sales increased by 2.5%.

This was driven by improvement in the on-trade as hospitality opened up again and a relative market share gain for Scotch whisky William Peel amid a decline (-6.7%) in the under-12-year blended whisky segment, according to the group.

Additionally, there was significant growth among other portfolio brands for MBWS’ French arm, particularly Marie Brizard liqueur, in both on-trade and off-trade markets.

On an international basis, there was continued growth in sales, which reached a revenue of €46.3m (US$47.2m) and were up by 9.2% in comparison to H1 of 2021.

This was accredited to continued recovery in Europe, particularly in the UK, after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

The group saw strong performances across all of its strategic brands, particularly Marie Brizard and Gautier Cognac, in Canada, South Korea, Australia and Poland.

Yet, there was a decline in US sales of Sobieski vodka in a highly competitive market segment, and the Russia-Ukraine war led to a decline in nearby export markets.

The conflict in Ukraine and soaring energy costs also impacted the first half upswing in France’s ‘cluster sales’, due to severe disruption in raw material supply chains, notably glass.

The group said it is dealing with this situation by adopting allocation measures per brand based on available volumes.

Also, sales pricing policy adjustments across all distribution channels will be necessary in order to adapt to this ‘new volatile environment’, MBWS said.

Revenue decline

Revenue gains were not seen across the board in markets, however.

In Spain, sales declined by 2.9% versus H1 2021, mainly due to a ‘temporary decline in subcontracted operations’ – resulting from difficulties with glass supplies.

US revenues for H1 2022 were down versus the same period in 2021 due to ‘aggressive promotional strategies by competitors’ in the vodka segment, and ongoing pressure on sea transport capacity.

Sales in China also fell, but the Asia Pacific segment maintained revenue growth all the same. The decline was ‘largely offset’ by strong performances in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

One market that saw exceptional growth was Bulgaria, which increased by 18.3% in H1 2022 across its entire brand portfolio (wines and spirits) in both domestic and export markets (Greece, Croatia, Serbia).

In more news of financial results, Campari Group revealed its H1 double-digit sales growth earlier this week, and Rémy Cointreau reported an organic sales increase of 27% in the first quarter of its 2022/2023 full year, with Cognac sales up by almost a third.

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