Rémy Cointreau sales fall 16.4% in first half of 2020

Rémy Cointreau’s sales for the first half of the year show just what a difference the closure of bars and restaurants and travel restrictions have made on premium spirits sales.

The group, which sells Rémy Martin cognac, Cointreau liqueur and Mount Gay Rum, generated total sales of €430.8 million (£392m) between April and September 2020, down organically by 16.4% compared to the same period last year. Thwe group said it was largely affected by the “very low level of duty free sales” thanks to worldwide travel restrictions.

Cognac sales were particularly hurt by widespread on-trade closure. Sales were down 18.1% overall, but were only down 2.5% in the second quarter of this year compared to 2019, when many countries allowed hospitality venues to offer table service again. The spirits group largely attributed this to growth in the US and the recovery of mainland China, where extremely few new confirmed coronavirus cases have emerged and life has returned to some level of normality.

Liqueurs and spirits sales fell by 13.6% in the same period, and showed a “slower” recovery in the second quarter thanks to their exposure to the on-trade, being down 11% compared to last year.

However, the company now expects its profits to decline to by 25-30% on a like-for-like basis, compared with a drop of 35-40% forecast in July. While all major regions reported a fall in sales, the Americas showed the strongest recovery after lockdown, with declines of just 0.7%.

The Paris-based group’s share price fell 2.3% to €153.7 when markets opened this morning (20 October).

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, Rémy Cointreau said it is still confident that it can “emerge stronger from the crisis”.

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