Pernod Ricard full year results

Pernod Ricard has reported sales of €9,182m (6% organic growth) for the  full year 2018/19 plus +8.7% organic growth in PRO (proft on recurring operations.

Chinese sales came in with +21%, due to “strong dynamism of Martell and growth relays”. India reported +20%, with “continued expansion of Seagram’s Indian whiskies and strategic international brands”. Travel Retail was +6% with “strong growth driven by all regions”.

Pernod said regionally, FY19 sales were driven mainly by Asia: • Americas: +2%, acceleration in Canada, strong growth in Latin America and ‘sell-out’ broadly in line with market in the US.  Sales in the US were “dampened by wholesaler inventory optimisation”. Asia/Rest of World: +12%: “Strong acceleration driven mainly by China, India and Turkey and continued strong growth in Japan”. Europe +1%:  “Slight growth in contrasted environment, with continued strong growth in eastern Europe partly offset by Western Europe (difficult market in France and commercial disputes.)

Pernod Ricard says it continued to leverage its premium portfolio. There was strong growth across all key spirits categories. It reports:

  • Strategic International Brands: +7%, continued strong growth, notably on Jameson, with acceleration on Martell and scotch, dampened by impact of UA wholesaler inventory management
  • Strategic Local Brands: +12%, acceleration driven by Seagram’s Indian whiskies • Specialty Brands: +12%, continued strong momentum, particularly for Lillet, Altos, Monkey 47, ultra premium Irish whiskey range and Smooth Ambler
  • Strategic wines: -5%, due to value strategy in UK and USA inventory management • Innovation: contributing c.25% of Group topline growth, in particular thanks to Martell Blue Swift, Chivas XV, Beefeater Pink, Lillet and Monkey 47.

Chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said: “FY19 was an excellent year, demonstrating clear business acceleration, while investing for longterm value creation. Our PRO growth, at +8.7%, is our highest since FY12. For FY20, we will continue implementing our FY19-21 ‘Transform & Accelerate’ plan, with increasing support for our priority brands, markets, strategic investments and Sustainability & Responsibility 2030 Roadmap. In a particularly uncertain environment, our guidance for FY20 is organic growth in PRO of between +5% and +7%.”

Thomas Buckley and Thomas Mulier of Bloomberg News report: “Pernod Ricard has reported its strongest annual earnings growth in seven years, fuelled by Chinese demand and announced a €1 billion ($1.1bn) share buyback.

"The positive results add steam to a distilling industry that has been an out performer in the wider consumer-goods sector. The revival of cocktail culture has boosted sales of high-end liquor brands such as Pernod Ricard’s Monkey 47 gin and Martell cognac. However, the company forecast a slight slowdown this year to profit growth of 5% to 7%.

“In China, where Pernod Ricard is the top seller of international spirits, sales surged 21%. Rival Diageo recently logged double-digit sales gains in the country on demand on for scotch whisky and baijiu.

“Pernod Ricard is under pressure after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. took a stake in the company late last year. The buyback also follows Diageo’s plan to return as much as £4.5bn ($5.5bn) to shareholders,” said Bloomberg News analysts.