Pernod Ricard said it was confident sales growth would remain dynamic and broad-based albeit in a normalising environment for the 2023 fiscal year, after it delivered forecast-beating first-half profit and sales, helped by price increases in the key Chinese and US markets.
Pernod Ricard, which owns Martell cognac, Mumm champagne and Absolut vodka, said profit from current operations in the six months to December 31 reached €2.423 billion, an organic rise of 12% above analysts' expectations for an 8.2% increase.
Sales at Pernod Ricard - whose rivals include Diageo and Rémy Cointreau - totalled €7.116 billion in the first half, representing an organic rise of 12%, compared with analysts' expectations for a 9.7% increase.
Elsewhere, its Strategic Local Brands division (+13%) was driven by growth of spirits such as Seagram’s Indian whiskies and Seagram’s Gin, while its Specialty Brands division (+14%) was boosted by the performance of Lillet, Italicus, Malfy, Redbreast, Aberlour and Altos.
Pernod Ricard's fiscal year started on July 1.
"Our first half performance was very strong, marked by broad-based and diversified growth across all regions and categories," commented Alexandre Ricard, chief executive. "In addition, particularly strong pricing dynamic illustrates the attractiveness of our portfolio of premium brands and enabled us to sustain margins in an inflationary context.
"We will continue to invest behind our brands, our group-wide transformation and S&R strategy, deliver operational efficiencies and prepare for exciting future growth opportunities. I expect this dynamic growth to continue through FY23 albeit in a normalising environment, demonstrating the strength of our strategy and the agility, dedication and exceptional engagement of our teams around the world.”