Pernod Ricard has begun shipping extra stocks of some alcoholic drinks between Britain and continental Europe as part of its contingency plans in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The maker of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Chivas Regal whisky in Scotland, Perrier-Jouet champagne in France and Campo Viejo wine in Spain has taken “progressive” steps in some markets in recent months, a spokesman said.
With Britain at risk of leaving the EU without a deal, Pernod is not alone in increasing stocks to avoid potential border delays for imports and exports.
L’Oreal said last week it was stocking up on cosmetics in Britain, and other firms including Nestlé, Burberry and Airbus have also increased stocks ahead of the March 29 Brexit deadline.
“In some markets, we’ve already done it, in some markets, no,” the Pernod spokesman said, without giving details. “There is no panic. It’s just a plan to avoid any disruption of our distribution.”
Pernod, which is a major whisky producer in Britain, had not rented any new warehouses to stock mountains of bottles, the spokesman said, adding that the firm hoped that a divorce deal will be agreed between Brussels and London, echoing other firms in the drinks industry.
Meanwhile, rival LVMH, owner of Moet & Chandon champagne and Hennessy cognac, said it does not want to destabilise Pernod Ricard and has nothing to do with activist investor Elliott buying a stake in the French spirits group. There had been media speculation that Pernod rivals, like LVMH or Diageo, could have their eyes on some of the brands of Pernod Ricard, which is facing pressure from Elliott to bolster its profit margins.