Jameson first-half sales jump 20% to lift Pernod Ricard spirits

Sales of Jameson Irish Whiskey increased by 20% in value and by 16% volume-wise in the six months to the end of December, significantly boosting parent group Pernod Ricard in the first half of its current financial year.

One of the French drinks giant’s 14 core brands, Jameson saw either double or triple-digit percentage growth in 65 markets during the period.

This helped Pernod Ricard notch up 4% growth in organic sales and 2% sales growth on a reported basis in the six months. It owns Absolut vodka, Malibu rum, Beefeater gin and Martell cognac.

Head of the group’s Irish Distillers subsidiary, Jean-Christophe Coutures, said domestic sales of Jameson had risen despite costs. He is a critic of Irish excise rates.

“Here at home, it’s encouraging to see somewhat of a recovery, with the domestic spirits market growing 3% in value and 2% in volume,” he said. “In spite of two successive duty hikes, we are now seeing our Irish whiskey portfolio growing market share — value share increased by 1% on the same period for last year with sales volume up 5%.”

However, independent player Protégé International used the Jameson results to reiterate its call for the development of a wholesale bulk Irish whiskey market to “democratise” the market.

It makes the Wild Geese whiskey label. Chairman Andre Levy said the current structure favours large dominant players and “jeopardises” smaller brands”.

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