WHISKY BRAND HAILS GROWTH IN VOLATILE MARKET
Pernod Ricard, owner of Scotch whisky firm Chivas Brothers, has reported a 22 per cent rise in reported first quarter sales to €3.3 billion, driven by growth in its key US, Chinese, Indian and travel retail markets despite “challenging and volatile” trading conditions.
Alexandre Ricard (pictured above), the chairman and chief executive of the Paris-based drinks giant, declared he was “hugely encouraged” by start to the year, as the company highlighted a strong “broad-based performance” across geographies and product categories. And he expects the company to continue growing throughout the year.
Pernod, which distills Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal and Royal Salute, reported a 12 per cent rise in sales of its strategic international brands in the quarter, describing its progress as “very dynamic growth driven mainly by Scotch, Jameson (Irish whiskey), Absolut (vodka), Beefeater (gin) and Martell (Cognac).”
In regional terms, sales in the Americas surged by 24% to €957m, in Asia/ rest of the world by 29% to€1.49bn, and in Europe by 9% to €863m, compared with the opening quarter of the company’s previous financial year.
Pernod said it had been “very active in portfolio management” over the quarter. It highlighted its move to increase its minority stake in US premium wine and spirits company Sovereign Brands in a deal it said would increase its exposure to the American drinks market. Sovereign is one of the fastest-growing companies in the drinks industry, with brands such as Luc Belaire, a French super-premium sparkling wine, Caribbean rum Bumbu, Brazilian gin McQueen and the Violet Fog, and French liqueur Villon.
Mr Ricard said: “I am hugely encouraged by our start to the year. Within a context which remains challenging and volatile, as for every business we continue to actively invest to support our unique competitive advantages and fuel our future growth.”
He added: “We have been very active in portfolio management in the past quarter with Sovereign Brands, Código 1530 and Nocheluna and are excited to work with our new partners to fully develop the global potential of such highly attractive brands. We expect this dynamic growth to continue through FY23, demonstrating the strength of our strategy and the dedication and full engagement of our teams around the world.”