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Pernod Ricard’s U.S. Sales Rise 5% Over First Three Quarters

April 20, 2017

Pernod Ricard has reported a 5% increase in its U.S. sales for the nine months through March, representing the first three-quarters of its fiscal year. Pernod’s U.S. growth over the period continued to be led by Jameson, as well as Martell Cognac and Altos Tequila, all of which showed double-digit gains. Absolut continued to decline over the past nine months, although Pernod noted that the brand’s recent Lime flavor enjoyed a strong launch.

According to Impact Databank, Jameson surged 16% to 2.8 million cases last year in the U.S., while Martell increased 6% to 105,000 cases and Altos leapt 28% to 160,000 cases. Absolut, meanwhile, slipped 3.4% to 3.9 million cases. Pernod Ricard North America chairman and CEO Paul Duffy recently told SND that the company has made a number of recent changes on Absolut intended to turn the franchise around. “We’ve streamlined our portfolio, pulling some flavors out and focusing more on the original vodka,” he said. “Now we want to make bigger, bolder bets in terms of innovation. While we’ve streamlined those lower rotating flavors, we’ve also introduced Lime this year. We’ve had a great order book for that. We also think Absolut Elyx is going to create a halo for the franchise.”

Globally, Pernod’s sales rose 4% organically to €7 billion ($7.5b) over its first three fiscal quarters, as its Europe region increased 4% and its Asia/Rest of World unit grew 1%. Notably, Martell has returned to solid volume and value growth in China, where Pernod’s overall business is now stable, according to the company. That improved performance comes following years of struggles for China’s spirits market amid the country’s austerity campaign targeting government expenditures on alcohol. —Daniel Marsteller

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