Asia, US and E Europe buoy Pernod's H1

Pernod Ricard has reported half-year revenue growth of 6%, with good performances in China, India, Eastern Europe and the US offsetting declines in Western Europe.

Sales for H1 2012/213 totalled € 4,907 million (excluding tax and duties), with organic growth of +€116 million, an increase of +3%.

China grew 18%, driven by Martell, which continues to gain market share, said Pernod Ricard.

Scotch whiskies experienced “conjunctural difficulties” in China – “a market down in volumes”. While Absolut and Jacob’s Creek continued their “very strong growth”.

In India, there was “dynamic growth of local whiskies (+18%) bolstered by premiumisation”. Pernod reported strong growth from 100 Pipers and its Top 14 (particularly Chivas, Absolut and The Glenlivet).

The US (+9%) drove growth in the Americas with rises for Jameson (+24%), Malibu (+10%), Beefeater (+16%) Perrier Jouët (+17%) and The Glenlivet (+21%).

The pace of growth was sustained in Eastern Europe (+12%), reported Pernod Ricard, with Russia generating much of the new sales thanks to Jameson, ArArAt, Chivas, Olmeca and Ballantine’s.

Western Europe (excluding France) declined -4% in what Pernod described as “a challenging economic climate”. Southern European countries were the primary reason for the decline, with Spain the biggest culprit with a decline of -9%.

France saw a decline of -28%, down to unfavourable comparatives with HY1 2012/13, a period that featured significant pre-buying. Excluding this effect, sales declined -11%.

According to the Paris-headquartered drinks group, its portfolio outperformed the French market, which was impacted by the excise duty hike. Ricard was down -3%, Chivas (-10%), Malibu (-14%) but positive news came in the form of Ballantine’s (+4%), Jameson (+5%), Absolut (+10%) and Havana Club (+14%).

Pierre Pringuet, chief executive officer and vice president of the Board of Pernod Ricard, said: “The good performance achieved this semester confirms the soundness of our business model: a comprehensive portfolio of first-class international and local brands, a premiumisation strategy enhanced by a strong innovation policy, and global exposure allowing us to capture all growth relays.

“We are confident in continuing our growth mid-term, and we confirm our guidance of organic growth in profit from recurring operations close to +6% for the full financial year 2012/13.”