Sales of Jameson Irish Whiskey helped drive a 4% rise in sales in the first nine months of parent group Pernod Ricard’s current financial year.
The international drinks giant also owns the likes of Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, Malibu rum and The Glenlivet Scotch. Yesterday it reported sales of just over €6.8bn for the nine months to the end of March.
Pernod Ricard doesn’t break down the sales performance of individual brands outside interim or annual results. However, it said yesterday that the 1% sales’ increase in its key ‘top 14’ brand category has been “driven notably by Jameson and innovation”.
At the halfway point of the group’s current fiscal year at the end of December it said Jameson had seen an 11% increase in first half sales.
The group yesterday said it has seen strong growth in the Americas, where year-to-date sales were up 6%, with “modest” growth of 2% in Asia and rest of the world and resilient growth of 1% evident in Europe.
Chairman and chief executive Alexandre Ricard called it a solid performance in an environment that remains contrasted.
“Our strategy has remained consistent and is driving results. Innovation is accelerating, operational excellence is driving efficiencies, our ongoing initiatives in the US are starting to deliver, we are working actively to develop the new phase of growth in China, where we remain confident in the medium-term potential despite the tough current context,” he said.
Diminishing demand for Scotch in Asia led to an unexpected slip in Pernod Ricard’s sales in China in its third quarter. Chinese sales of Scotch fell by 5%, year-on-year, in the three months to the end of March and were down 10% for the nine-month period under review.
Asia was disappointing” due to a significant deceleration in China, Raymond James analyst Hermine de Bentzmann said in a research note on Pernod Ricard.
“Chinese New Year was soft and consumption is still weak,” said Pernod Ricard’s chief financial officer Gilles Bogaert.
Meanwhile, the group has not seen an improvement nor worsening of its cognac sales in China.
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