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Pernod Posts 4% Sales Growth In U.S. In First Half

February 7, 2019

Pernod Ricard saw its U.S. sales rise in line with the overall market in its first half through December, increasing by 4%. The company said solid organic growth as well as price increases on key brands including Jameson, The Glenlivet, Martell, Altos, and Avión contributed to progress. Across its global business, Pernod’s sales increased 7.8% to €5.19 billion ($5.9b) on an organic basis, while operating profit jumped 12.8% to €1.65 billion ($1.87b).

Jameson continues to drive gains for Pernod in the U.S., with the brand increasing 12% to 3.6 million cases in 2018, according to Impact Databank’s estimate. Pernod Ricard North American chairman and CEO Paul Duffy recently said that “geographic expansion” is boosting the brand, which is leading with its Original expression in growth markets like Texas and focusing on Caskmates in more mature markets like California and New York.

Tequila and Cognac are also providing growth for Pernod. The Altos Tequila brand soared 17% to 245,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank’s estimate, and the company says Avión is also showing strong momentum. In Cognac, Martell has been benefiting from its Blue Swift variant, which retails at around $50 a bottle. The Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky was up only in the low single digits for the half-year, but Pernod says it’s seeing solid returns on its Founder’s Reserve offering.

Elsewhere, Absolut continues to struggle, declining in the mid single digits for the first half. Still, the brand’s flavor range got a boost from the recent launch of Absolut Grapefruit, and the franchise will roll out a new “Planet Earth’s Favorite Vodka” campaign this year. In rum, Malibu was up by mid single digits, driven by its Pineapple and Lime flavors.—Daniel Marsteller

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