Strong growth in the US and Europe lift Pernod Ricard’s YTD sales

Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-biggest spirits maker on Thursday reported a revenue growth of 3% for the first 9-months of its 2016/17 financial year.

The company behind such brands as Absolut vodka, Jameson Irish Whisky and Martell cognac said that sales for the 9-months ending March 31 reached €7.04bn, from €6.8bn in the same period last year. The third quarter alone saw a 3% rise in sales to €1.987bn ($2.13bn). The spirits maker said that sales were driven by a 7% growth in the Americas, with the United States accounting for 5% of the growth. Brands such as Jameson Irish Whisky, Martell cognac and Altos tequila recorded double-digit sales growth, although, it notes that its Absolut vodka brand was in decline in the United States but there was a strong reception for Absolut Lime in that country.

The firm added that Latin American region posted overall strong performance except for Brazil which remained in decline due to the macroeconomic difficulties in that country. Travel Retail, however returned to growth.

According to the company, Europe was also a strong performing region, posting a 4% growth, bolstered by mature markets and recovery in Eastern Europe. France, which is Pernod Ricard’s home market, saw a slight spike in sales excluding technical impact. Spain recorded a solid 4% gain, consolidating its leadership in a faster-growing market. U.K. and Russia put in good performances; however the company notes that Travel Retail in Europe continued to decline in a difficult environment.

Pernod Ricard said it saw modest gains of 1% in Asia and the rest of the world, with the Indian market constrained due to regulatory challenges such as demonetization (replacement of currencies) and a highway ban on alcohol sale that went into effect in April, which is expected to impact fourth quarter and year-end results. However, the company confirmed the leadership of premium local and international whisky in the Indian market.

The firm also said that China had returned to growth as well as Travel Retail in Asia, but Africa was still hampered by macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges.

The company kept its revenue outlook unchanged, with organic growth of between 2% and 4% for the year.

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