Rising consumer demand, favourable share trends drive Beam Suntory’s half-year results

Beam Suntory, Inc, the alcoholic beverage arm of Japanese group Suntory Holdings said that revenue for the first-half of 2017 was driven by rising consumer demand and favourable share trends across key markets.

The company said that sales grew in the mid-single-digits, driven by double-digit global gains from Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons.

Half-year sales rose 3% to ¥480.5bn yen ($4.3bn), from ¥466bn yen ($4.2bn) in the previous year.

The spirits maker said that the United States spearheaded growth in the Americas region , with single-digit sales growth, led by strong performance of brands such as Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Hornitos.

Elsewhere, sales growth was fueled by rising global demand for Jim Beam and excellent performance for the company’s brand portfolio in Europe, Southeast Asia and other markets.

In Japan, the company saw a 5% sales lift from Suntory Spirits Limited. Chita and Torys classic whiskies delivered strong growth, while Jim Beam accelerated marketing activities behind the Beam Highball.

Ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs) grew case volumes 13% and -196°C Strong Zero expanded demand as Japanese consumers increasingly pair the refreshing brand with food.

The company’s beer business was flat with 33.05 million cases sold. The company said it estimated that the overall market declined 1% year-on-year. The market share of the company’s beer-type beverages was 15.9%. The premium malt’s brand performed strongly as sales grew 4%, despite sales decline in the beer category year-on-year.

Suntory said that sales of its wine business were higher year-on-year. New imported wine products (Dark Horse and Santa Premium) were introduced to the mid-high value products, which performed well.

Net profit for the alcoholic beverage segment grew 6.1% to ¥41.9bn yen ($379m), from ¥39.5bn yen ($357m).

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