Jameson continues to drive Pernod Ricard growth

By Geoff Percival

International drinks giant, Pernod Ricard’s group sales grew by 9% in the three months to the end of March, largely driven by the strong performance of its Jameson Irish Whiskey brand.

Sales of the whiskey grew 12% in the first half of the year.

Total sales for the period — the third quarter of the French drinks group’s financial year — amounted to just shy of €2bn; bringing sales for the first nine months to €7.06bn. That latter figure represents year-on-year growth of 6.3%.

Pernod Ricard said its chief international brands — including Jameson, Chivas whisky, and Martell cognac — grew by 7% in the latest quarter and drove overall group growth. Geographically, growth was evident in Asia and the Americas.

Sales in emerging markets grew by 13%, year-on-year, but European sales were marginally down.

Despite previously warning of the potential for a slow final quarter, Pernod Ricard said it now expects full-year growth targets to come in at the top end of guidance and organic profit growth to be around 6%.

In February, Pernod Ricard noted that Jameson sales grew 12% in its first half. However, the French group — via its Irish Distillers subsidiary — warned that the Irish market is becoming challenging and that proposed new legislation, surrounding the selling of alcohol, threatens jobs, exports, and the global success of Irish whiskey.

That said, Jameson and sister brand, Power’s, boosted their Irish sales by 5% and 11%, respectively, in the six months to the end of December.

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