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Pernod Ricard reports impressive growth in South Africa

Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest distiller and the company behind leading premium spirits brands including Jameson whiskey, Absolut vodka and G.H Mumm champagne, has announced its first-half earnings, reporting high single digit volume growth for the first six months in South Africa, with the second highest overall share growth versus key competitors in the Spirits & Champagne category.

According to the Aztec Market read, Pernod Ricard South Africa has reported great share gains in Whisky (+2.6 per cent), led by Jameson and Ballantine’s Finest. In addition, Jameson was ranked the #3 brand by value in the South African spirits market. The company also saw a strong share gain in Vodka (+1.4 per cent), driven by Absolut. Absolut is the latest success story in the Pernod Ricard stable – with Absolut Blue becoming the leading vodka premium brand in value and volume in the last six months.
Paul Scanlon, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard South Africa, said, ‘We’ve seen good growth over the past six months with our brands rapidly growing in value and volume, especially over the festive season. The December Aztec results showed an impressive increase in Market Share Gains. Our strategy is to continue to overinvest in our brands in order to grow long-term sustainable equity in South Africa.’

Globally, Pernod Ricard saw sales of Jameson whiskey surged 20 percent and sales in Asia rebounded. Profit from recurring operations rose 4 per cent on an organic basis to 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in the six months through December. Sales in Asia and the rest-of-world region rose 5 per cent in the second quarter excluding acquisitions and currency shifts, returning to growth.

Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Ricard has sought to modernise the company’s brand roster by acquiring fast-growing spirits including Smooth Ambler bourbon and Monkey 47 gin. He’s also divested liquors that aren’t central to its business, such as the Domecq line of brandies, to focus on the surge in U.S. demand for cognac and Irish whiskey that’s buoying sales of its Martell and Jameson brands. Pernod repeated its forecast for earnings to rise 2 per cent to 4 per cent in 2017.

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