Pernod Ricard toasts sales of Jameson as profits rise 8pc to €1.9bn
DRINKS giant Pernod Ricard shook off a difficult year in Ireland to post higher annual profits yesterday, with international sales of Jameson providing a welcome boost to the company.
Europe's second largest distiller said profits rose 8pc to €1.9bn on the back of sales which increased 8pc to €7.6bn.
The figures were in line with market expectations and came despite the ongoing struggles of the drinks industry in Ireland. The on-trade for spirits was down 6pc during the year.
Pernod's subsidiary here, Irish Distillers, said its performance, which includes Jameson and Powers Gold Label whiskey as well as Absolut Vodka, reflected the wider trend in Ireland, where "the continued decline in the on-trade combined with very depressed consumer confidence, had a very negative impact on all sectors of the drinks industry".
Company chief executive Alexandre Ricard said the domestic situation was a "stark contrast to growth and optimism for our export markets".
"The outlook for the industry here in Ireland is concerning. However, I welcome the Government's. . . recent significant VAT reduction to boost the hospitality and tourism sectors.
"I would urge the Government not to take any actions, either through taxation or legislation, which would undo this positive and much needed stimulus for domestic consumption and confidence," he added.
Jameson had a strong year internationally, with sales up by 20pc to 3.4m cases a year, driven mainly by demand from the United States while Powers increased market share to remain at number two in the Irish whiskey market.
Pernod Ricard closed down 0.92pc at €61.92 in Paris.