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Pernod Ricard Sees Stable U.S. Sales, Strong Growth In India and China, As Full-Year Profit Rises 8.7%

August 29, 2019

Pernod Ricard saw its U.S. sales remain stable in its fiscal year ended in June as China and India posted strong gains. Global sales rose by 6% on an organic basis while organic profit was up 8.7%, hitting its highest level since 2012. Amid its global success, Pernod has also been investing in expanding its market position in the U.S., announcing last night that the company would purchase Castle Brands for $223 million.

In the U.S., the company’s whisk(e)y, Cognac, and Tequila brands continued to grow, with Pernod offering an internal estimate that its USA spirits were up 4.5%. Jameson’s growth, according to the company, was propelled by the strong performance of its Black Barrel and Caskmates releases. Last year, Jameson Caskmates reached nearly 200,000 cases on 59.8% growth, according to Impact Databank. Recently, Jameson expanded its Caskmates offerings with two new IPA barrel-finished releases. Overall, Jameson was up 5.6% in NABCA channels for the seven months ended in July, helping to maintain Pernod’s stability in the U.S.

Martell also continues to grow in the U.S., up 32.4% in NABCA channels for this year through July. In Tequila, meanwhile, Altos is thriving and the Glenlivet was stable, showing growth of 0.67%.

Though the company’s portfolio is largely seeing growth in the U.S., Absolut continues to struggle, down 3.15% in NABCA channels through July, with losses driven by wholesaler inventory reductions. Despite the challenging conditions faced by Absolut, Pernod continues to invest in the brand, and its national rollout for Absolut Juice will continue through its next fiscal quarter.

India also helped drive Pernod’s business in for the fiscal year, rising 20% thanks to strong performance from Seagram’s Indian whiskies, premium plus Indian whiskies, and Jacob’s Creek. In China, Pernod’s sales were up 21% driven by strong performance across the company’s portfolio, with Martell, Chivas Regal, Absolut, and the company’s Champagne portfolio, among other brands, driving the market. Pernod is expanding in China, as well, investing $150 million in a single malt whisky distillery in Sichuan province’s Emei mountains. The South China Morning Post reports that the distillery is set to open in 2021 and will tap the growing popularity of Asian whiskies.—Shane English

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