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Cognac Drives Moët Hennessy To 7% Growth Year-To-Date

October 10, 2019

Moët Hennessy posted sales up 7% to €3.9 billion ($4.3b) on an organic basis in the nine months through September, marking the first three quarters of the company’s fiscal year, as the flagship Hennessy Cognac brand continued to drive gains.

Hennessy’s sales were up 10% during the nine-month period, led by its entry-level VS offering. In the U.S., Hennessy was up 6% in IRI channels for the 52 weeks ending September 8, and rose 9% in NABCA markets for the year-to-date through August. That growth is extending a strong run for the brand, which has expanded by more than 1.4 million cases globally over the past three years, reaching 7.7 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank. Hennessy and the rest of the Cognac category were spared in the most recent round of U.S. tariffs on imported wine and spirits, unlike single malt Scotch whisky and French and Spanish wines.

Champagne was also left out of the group of products scheduled to see a 25% tariff hike in the U.S. on October 18. However, Moët Hennessy said its global Champagne volumes were down slightly over the first nine months of the year as price increases continue across the range. Still, at the high end, the company noted that its prestige cuvées are seeing rapid growth, and in the U.S., market leader Veuve Clicquot was up 6.3% in IRI channels in the year-to-date through September 8.

In August, SND exclusively reported that current Moët Hennessy North America president and CEO Jim Clerkin is transitioning to a new role, president of Moët Hennessy strategic development and advisor to Paris-based global CEO Philippe Schaus, effective January 1. With Clerkin taking on a new mission, Moët Hennessy has named Seth Kaufman as CEO of its North America division, effective January 1. Kaufman comes to Moët Hennessy from PepsiCo, where he has held a series of marketing, sales, and management roles across a 19-year tenure.—Daniel Marsteller

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