Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Jameson is Pernod star as 12pc rise drives sales

Peter Flanagan

SALES OF Jameson Whiskey increased significantly across the world in the last year, latest figures show.

Despite continuing struggles at home, Jameson increased its sales by 12pc in the year ended June 30 on the back of strong sales in North America and Europe, according to Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

"The (economic) downturn is having a very negative effect on the performance of the drinks industry in general. Despite the challenging environment in Ireland, Jameson has grown share in the overall spirits sector, with a particularly strong performance on retail," said the company.

Irish market falls

Overall, the Irish spirits market fell by 7pc in the past year. Pernod Ricard did not give specific details on Jameson's performance in Ireland but said it "outperformed the market".

The news came as the drinks giant reported full-year results which missed expectations. Net profit was up 1pc at €951m on the back of sales that declined 2pc to €7.08bn. Analysts had forecast profit of €987m.

The decline in sales was blamed on a 10pc fall in Western Europe and a 6pc drop in US business.

Jameson led the company's top brands in sales growth, with sales increasing 24pc in the US. Pernod added that France, Canada and South Africa had made significant contributions to Jameson's growth.

In Ireland, the spritzer West Coast Cooler saw sales jump 70pc following the launch of its Rose in May 2009, while Absolut Vodka grew its market share here by 50pc.

A spokesman for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard said that the drinks industry here continues to struggle.

"The Government's reduction in excise duty on alcohol has resulted in a positive response in the off-trade business but on-trade is still declining," he said.

"For the market and the hospitality business to recover, consumer confidence needs to be restored. It may be sometime before we see that."

Brian Fagan of Davy Stockbrokers was satisfied with the French company's results.

He said: "This is a solid set of numbers from Pernod. The organic sales performance matches that of Diageo but Pernod delivered better EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) growth.

"Pernod continues to benefit from better emerging market exposure and higher operating leverage, given its premium portfolio in these markets."

He added: "Performance in Asia and other emerging markets remains strong and improving trends seen since the start of the year in the US, Russia and Duty Free remain in place. However, there is no indication that conditions in Western Europe are set to improve."

Irish Independent

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