Business Irish

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Pernod Ricard suffers decline in Irish market

Laura Noonan

DRINKS giant Pernod Ricard has reported a "dramatic decline" in the Irish market over the second half of last year, citing the "faltering economy", a "severe contraction in consumer confidence" and a "surge in cross-border sales".

The grim news from Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard boss Alexandre Ricard came as the French plc reported a 10pc fall in global net sales, which came in at €3.789m for the period.

There was some Irish cheer in yesterday's stock market announcement, however, with homegrown whiskey Jameson proving the best performer of Pernod Ricard's global portfolio of 15 "strategic brands".

Pernod Ricard doesn't break out figures for the Irish market, but, in an extensive commentary, Mr Ricard said the market had "declined dramatically" as the economy faltered, consumer demand contracted and cross-border sales surged.

"In line with this challenging market, the Irish Distillers' spirits portfolio experienced volume declines, although it won share," he added.

Jameson performed "ahead of the overall market", while vodka brand Absolut is pipped as a growth prospect for the future after a year of high-profile sponsorships, including the Absolut Fringe Film Festival.

The Budget's excise rate reductions are also singled out as a good omen for the future, with Mr Ricard saying there was already evidence the lower taxes were having "a positive effect on consumer spending and sentiment" and had "reduced the growth in cross-border trade".

On the global stage, Jameson grew its net organic sales by 7pc, fuelled by a 21pc jump in US sales, while net organic sales worldwide were down 3pc.

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