GEOFF PERCIVAL: Pernod Ricard pins growth targets on Jameson boost

French drinks company Pernod Ricard has said it expects further good sales growth in its current financial year, largely driven by the performance of Jameson whiskey in the US and Europe.

The group yesterday reported sales of just under €2.3bn for the three months to the end of September; the first quarter of its financial year.

On a year-on-year basis that figure was up by 5.7%. After a strong year, management said it expects organic profit growth of 3% to 5% for the current year.

The group recently reported a 4% increase in annual revenues to €9bn for the 12 months to the end of June.

“We have had a very good start to the year, with our growth accelerating and diversifying in terms of both markets and brands,” said Pernod Ricard chairman Alexandre Ricard.

“In an environment that remains uncertain, we confirm our 2018 guidance of organic growth in profit from recurring operations of between 3% and 5%,” he added.

On a geographical basis, Pernod Ricard saw strong growth in the Americas and Europe, while it increased sales in emerging markets by 10% on the same period last year. Its strategic international brands — led by Jameson, Martell cognac and Absolut vodka — accounted for 63% of first- quarter sales.

Jameson, on its own, continued its trend of achieving double-digit growth despite a price rise in September.

Pernod Ricard said it expects good sales to continue particularly in the US, Europe and of its Jameson brand. It also anticipates sales improving in emerging markets such as China and India.

Jameson achieved 13% sales growth in volume terms last year. Despite continuing strong sales, a spokesperson for the group’s Irish division Irish Distillers reiterated that management remains unhappy with the Government’s stance on excise rates on spirits; with Ireland having the third highest in Europe.


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