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Suntory’s Alcohol Sales Rise 40% On Beam Acquisition

February 19, 2015

Japan’s Suntory Holdings has posted a 40% jump in beverage alcohol sales, to ¥892 billion ($7.5b), for its fiscal year ended in December, boosted by last May’s $16 billion acquisition of the former Beam Inc. business. Integrated as Beam Suntory since October, Suntory Holdings’ international spirits business was 86% larger at the end of 2014 than it was a year earlier.

Over the course of the year, Beam Suntory brands including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Hornitos showed strong growth in the U.S. market, the company said, while Japanese whiskies like Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu enjoyed a rising profile due to increased marketing activity. Meanwhile, Jim Beam, Laphroaig and other premium labels performed well in Germany, Russia and the U.K., and the Teacher’s Scotch brand continued its advance in India and Brazil.

Beam Suntory had seven brands among Impact’s top 100 premium spirits worldwide for 2014. In aggregate, those seven brands were up 1.6% to 20.3 million cases globally last year, according to Impact Databank.

Looking ahead, Beam Suntory plans to “reinforce brand-building marketing activities for iconic global brands including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Hibiki,” while also strengthening key local brands in each of its regions. Suntory Holdings expects its beverage alcohol sales—also including its wine and beer interests—to rise by around 20% to ¥1.1 trillion ($9b) this year. Suntory Holdings Ltd. president Takeshi Niinami recently told the Wall Street Journal he wants the entire group to double sales to roughly $34 billion by 2020, excluding more overseas acquisitions—which he said he won’t pursue for another three years.

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