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Rémy Sees Sales Slip, Despite Solid U.S. Gains For Cointreau

January 24, 2020

Rémy Cointreau posted sales down 6.5% to €814 million ($899m) on an organic basis in the nine months through June, representing the first three quarters of the company’s fiscal year. The French drinks group said the decline was due to a difficult comparison against strong growth a year ago, as well as cyclical factors impacting its flagship Rémy Martin label, including slow restocking by retailers in the U.S.

The Rémy Martin brand’s sales were down 1.6% to €589 million ($650m) in the nine-month period, as a 6.3% drop in volume weighed on the franchise, partially offset by a 4.7% boost from positive mix and pricing. In the U.S., Rémy Martin’s volume was down 5.3% in control states over the first 11 months of 2019. The previous year, the brand had topped 900,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank’s estimate. Rémy Martin’s global sales have also been hit by a decrease in tourism in Hong Kong, although China has remained a robust market for the brand.

The news was better elsewhere in the Rémy portfolio, with Cointreau seeing “excellent performance” in the U.S., according to the company. Cointreau trails only Grand Marnier in the U.S. among liqueurs retailing at above $30 a bottle, with annual depletions above a quarter-million cases and control state volume up 6% year-to-date through November of last year. The company’s Botanist gin brand is also making inroads from a small base, jumping 34% in NABCA channels over the same period.

Those results, along with ongoing gains for Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, led to a 0.7% increase to €203 million ($224m) for Rémy’s Liqueurs & Spirits division in the nine months through December. Rémy Cointreau enters 2020 with new leadership, as luxury goods veteran Eric Vallat took the helm as CEO on December 1, replacing Valerie Chapoulaud-Floquet.—Daniel Marsteller

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