Strategic local brands lift Pernod Ricard’s India revenues up 27% in Sept quarter

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on October 22, 2021

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pernod Ricard   -  REUTERS

Company witnesses strong rebound, improved demand

Pernod Ricard saw 27 per cent year-on-year growth in its India operations for the July–September period, due to strong rebound and improved demand for its strategic local brands.

A low base effect (of –13 per cent), especially because of restrictions in the country and slowdown in travel retail, did play its role in the company’s double-digit growth numbers compared to sales across regions such as the US, Europe and China. Averaged out over a two-year-period (FY20 and FY21), the company registered an 11 per cent growth from India operations.

Pernod, which owns Martell cognac, Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and whiskies like Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s, starts its fiscal on July 1.

Growth in global brands

According to Helene de Tissot, Group Finance, IT & Ops Director, Pernod Ricard, India, the rebound in India was spearheaded by faster growth of strategic international brands and Royal Stag – its Indian whiskey brand.

“The strategic local brands also performed well, rising 15 per cent thanks to double-digit growth of Seagram’s Indian whiskies,” she said during the global earnings call.

Mass to mass-premium categories brands sold here include Seagram’s Royal Stag, Seagram’s Blender’s Pride, Seagram’s Imperial Blue, and Seagram’s 100 Pipers.

Strategic international brands — which grew 24 per cent globally —include Jameson, Ballantine’s, Chivas, Martell and Absolut — and the growth was attributed to positive product and price mix.

According to Abneesh Roy, ED, Edelweiss Securities, India is a must win market for Pernod Ricard. The analyst firm had downgraded United Spirits — Pernod’s biggest competitor in India and the market leader — to ‘Reduce’.

“It is very early to write off Pernod. India is a must win market for Pernod and it will be too premature to see data of a Covid impacted June quarter. We remain negative on United Spirits in spite of a likely strong Sept quarter due to a soft base,” he told BusinessLine.

Robust demand

Meanwhile, the French distiller, which reported 20 per cent organic growth in the September quarter (Q1 FY22) said it witnessed ‘robust’ demand in all regions with a very dynamic start. This was partly due to ‘robust demand’ and strong shipments ahead of the Christmas season.

Pernod Ricard’s top market, the US saw a 9 per cent jump in sales with good replenishment and a rebound in demand for Jameson Irish whiskey. Supply chain concerns — difficulties to find containers or truck drivers — led some clients in the US to stock up. In China, sales jumped 22 per cent, driven by demand during the Mid-Autumn Festival and Martell cognac price hikes.

Published on October 22, 2021

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