Cognac and whisky grow Pernod Ricard’s sales

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

On the up: sales of cognac and whisky are pushing up Pernod Ricard's growth
On the up: sales of cognac and whisky are pushing up Pernod Ricard's growth
Spirits supplier Pernod Ricard, owner of Beefeater gin and Absolut vodka, has reported an overall sales increase of 6%, driven by its cognac and whisky brands.

For the 2018 financial year, sales for Pernod totalled €8.987m (£8.14m) and were up by 2.4 percentage points, compared to the previous year.

Sales were strong in a wide spectrum of markets across the globe. Europe saw modest growth (2%) with good momentum in eastern Europe, Germany and the UK but difficulties in France and Spain.

Sales in America were up by 6%, with the US growing broadly in line with market and acceleration in Mexico and Brazil.

Strong growth

Asia and the rest of the world markets saw 9% growth, which Pernod said was thanks to the return of strong growth in China and India.

There was strong performance of cognac brand Martell with 14% sales growth and Irish whiskey brand Jameson saw the same.

The figures found improving trends for the spirit supplier’s Scotch portfolio, with sales growth up 3%, compared with flat sales in the 2017 financial year and the return to growth of whisky brand Chivas, which was up 5%.

When it came to vodka, Absolut sales growth rose by 2%, which Pernod put down to its success outside of the US (sales growth up 6%), although there was a decline within the US.

Significant improvement

There was also significant improvement of the spirits brands’ Seagram’s Indian whiskies, up 13% versus 3% in the previous year.

Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said: “The 2018 financial year was very strong. Consistent strategic implementation has enabled us to deliver a significant improvement in business performance while investing for the future. Our sales have accelerated and diversified, and our margins have improved.

“In the 2019 financial year, in a still uncertain geopolitical and monetary environment, we will continue consistently implementing in our strategy. Our guidance for the 2019 financial year is organic growth in profit from recurring operations between 5% and 7%.”

Meanwhile, Pernod launched a pink gin into the on-trade,​ rivalling Diageo-owned Gordon’s variant earlier this year (February).

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