Pernod plans diamond jubilee celebrations

Pernod Ricard is preparing to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a series of events focusing on its Royal Salute whisky brand.

The brand, part of the Chivas Brothers portfolio, has strong links with the British Monarchy, including sponsoring charity polo events. Last year Prince Harry played in the Sentebale Polo Cup in Brazil, an event that Royal Salute will again support this year.

Christian Porta, the chairman and CEO, of Chivas Brothers, declined to reveal the format of the celebrations based on Royal Salute, saying that they would be announced “soon”.

Pernod Ricard announced that in the first half of its financial year, which ran to the end of December, Royal Salute saw its sales volumes increase by 27% over the same period in 2010. The value of those sales rose by 34%.

The Royal Salute events will form part of Pernod Ricard’s focus on UK heritage in 2012. In addition, the group is launching a limited “London” edition of Absolut vodka in packaging designed by creative artist Jamie Hewlett, as announced previously by the drinks business.

The company said it was looking for a sales uplift of “about 10%” as a result of the launch of the Absolut London bottle.

This year it will also augment its “London” advertising theme for Beefeater gin in Spain.

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