independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Jameson sales continue to soar despite profit dip for owners Pernod Ricard

Pierre Pringuet: remains confident despite fall in sales

Sales at drink manufacturer Pernod Ricard fell in the July to September period but the growth of standout product Jameson continued unabated.

The drinks maker said yesterday that revenue in the three months from July was €2bn, with like-for-like sales down 1pc compared with the same quarter last year.

The owner of Irish Distillers blamed this on a poor performance in China and unfavourable exchange rate fluctuations in emerging market currencies.

It said full-year profit growth from recurring operations would be between 4pc and 5pc, below the 6pc achieved in the previous full year.

"Our first quarter was adversely affected by the slowdown of emerging markets and unfavourable technical effects. However, we remain confident in the diversity of our portfolio and the strength of our distribution network," said chief executive Pierre Pringuet.

Pernod, the second-largest drinks company in the world after Guinness owner Diageo, relies on Asia for almost half of its recurring profits. Like its rivals, including smaller peer Remy Cointreau, it has been hurt by a government clampdown on luxury gifts in China, in addition to the slowdown in economic growth in the country.

The company said it expects demand in China to start improving from the second half of its financial year, which ends in June 2014. China is its second-largest market after the United States, accounting for 12pc of sales.

Its top 14 products posted a 5pc overall decline, with sales of Kahlua liquor, Martell cognac and Ballantine whiskey, hit particularly hard.

However sales of Jameson whiskey continued to rocket, up 13pc in the quarter. The spirit has been a runaway success for Pernod since it bought Jameson owner Irish Distillers in 1998. The spirit is the second biggest driver of group profits.

Irish Distillers is now in the early stages of a multi-million-euro redevelopment and expansion of its bottling facility in Dublin to keep pace with growing worldwide demand for the whiskey.

Irish Independent

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