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Pernod Ricard Posts 6% U.S. Growth, But Warns Of Ongoing On-Trade Disruption

October 22, 2020

Pernod Ricard lauded a resilient performance in the U.S. and China with bolstering its results in its fiscal first quarter ended in September, with those two markets recording sales growth of 6% and 4% respectively. With ongoing disruptions across global travel retail (-64%), India (-13%), and Europe (-5%), however, the drinks giant’s overall net sales fell 6% to €2.2 billion ($2.6b). The company said it expects the October-December period to “be strongly impacted by Covid-19, but sales to return to growth in H2.”

Pernod noted that the strong off-premise environment has boosted U.S. sales in recent months, as well as the partial reopening of the on-premise, and that sell-in ahead of the holiday season has been solid, although marked by “adverse channel and category mix.” In control states in the year-to-date through August, top brand Jameson slowed to 1.9% volume growth, but in the most recent quarter Pernod said the brand saw good gains for its Original Irish whiskey as well as offshoots Cold Brew and Black Barrel. Absolut vodka was down 2.8% in control states in the year-to-date.

Beyond its top two brands, Pernod, has seen rapid control state growth across a number of labels this year, including The Glenlivet (+9.6%), Altos (+29%), Malibu (+21%), Kahlúa (+14%), Beefeater (+5%), Avión (+59%), and Seagram’s gin (+4%).

Looking across Pernod’s global business, solid gains in Germany (+12%), the U.K. (+22%), and Poland were offset by declines in France (-2%), Spain (-26%), and Russia, while Brazil is seeing a gradual rebound and Mexico was in growth in the first quarter.—Daniel Marsteller

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