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Pernod Ricard’s Sales Increase 6.3%, With Jameson Boosting U.S. Business

April 18, 2019

Pernod Ricard saw its sales climb 6.3% on an organic basis to €7.2 billion ($8.1b) in the nine months through March, driven by steady growth in the U.S. and robust gains in emerging markets. Pernod said it’s expecting 8% organic growth in profit from recurring operations for its full fiscal year ending in June.

In the U.S., Pernod’s nine-month sales grew by 2%, with shipments slowing in the third quarter as wholesalers looked to streamline inventories. But Pernod estimates that the underlying U.S. business is up about 4.5% in its fiscal year-to-date, roughly in line with the market. Jameson, which neared 3.5 million cases in the U.S. in calendar 2018, according to Impact Databank, continues to drive growth, offsetting the ongoing struggles of Absolut. Pernod says it’s been successful in making Jameson less reliant on St. Patrick’s Day and achieving consistent growth throughout the year.

Meanwhile, the company is seeing double-digit U.S. progress for brands like Martell, Avion, Altos, and The Glenlivet Founders Reserve, and is also nurturing growth for smaller labels like Monkey 47 gin, Smooth Ambler whiskey, and Del Maguey mezcal. The current quarter will see the rollout of a new “Planet Earth’s Favorite Vodka” campaign behind Absolut, as well as a new Absolut Juice extension, which features seasonal flavored offerings intended to be mixed with soda. Pernod also made a move in the gin category yesterday, agreeing to acquire the Malfy brand—featuring an Originale gin and three flavored varieties—from Biggar and Leith for an undisclosed sum.

Emerging markets have been driving gains for Pernod in terms of its global business. Sales surged 21% in China and 19% in India during the nine months, with China boosted by strong performances from Martell and Chivas Regal, and India benefiting from growth in local whisky brands and Jacob’s Creek. The company noted that it will add the wines of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) to its China portfolio starting in its next fiscal year.—Daniel Marsteller

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