Asian gains boost Pernod Ricard

Asia once again proved the key driver of growth as Pernod Ricard recorded a profit rise of 14% for the six months ended 31 December 2011.

Profits rose to €1.379 billion, while sales were up 11% to €4.614bn.

Sales growth for the six month period was driven by the top 14 brands and emerging markets, according to the French group.

Asia and the rest of the world recorded growth of 15% and remained the driving force for group growth, along with duty-free markets.

Martell Cognac, Scotch whiskies and Indian whiskies once again led growth.

In Europe excluding France, net sales rose 2% and the company reported other markets in Western Europe were resilient, notably Germany and duty-free.

CEO Pierre Pringuet said: “We are very pleased with the excellent business and financial performance of Pernod Ricard in the half year 2011/12.

“It demonstrates the strength of our business model—a vast portfolio of premium brands and a wholly-owned global distribution network—as well as the pertinence of our choices—sustained brand investment, development in emerging markets. This constitutes a real competitive advantage in the current economic environment.”

He added that the company was confident in the “continuation of solid underlying trends” and that the company had upgraded its full-year 2011/12 guidance to around 8% organic growth in profit from recurring operations and a net debt/EBITDA ratio close to 3.9 at 30 June 2012.

Europe, however, continues to provide problems. While Eastern and Central Europe saw sales growth of 15%, Western Europe saw a decline of 2%.

Italy saw sales drop by 11%, which Pernod Ricard attributed to tighter stock control by the trade. The UK saw a drop of 6%, mainly led by declining wine sales, while Spain saw a drop of 5%.

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