Moodie Davitt snapshot: Travel retail in Pernod Ricard’s first half
Asia up +19%, helped by weak H1 FY comparison); Martell stars
Americas +3% (high 2017 comparison base); Absolut, Martell and Chivas strong
Europe back to growth, lifted by Martell and Ballantines
Source: The Moodie Davitt Report

French drinks giant Pernod Ricard said today that Asia travel retail had played a lead role in “very good” results for the first half ended 31 December.

Travel retail sales in the region rose +19% year-on-year. The improvement partly reflected a low comparison base (a decline in H1 FY2017). Growth was mainly driven by Martell Cognac.

The Americas, however, saw slower growth (+3%) in travel retail, albeit off a high comparison base (+14% in H1 FY17). The increase was driven by Absolut, Martell and Chivas. Travel retail in Europe posted a return to growth, driven by Martell and Ballantine’s.

Group sales for the period reached €5,082 million, with organic growth of +5.1% and reported growth of +0.4% (due to negative FX). H1 profits from recurring operations reached €1,496 million, with organic growth of +5.7% (-0.3% reported, due to US Dollar weakness).

In terms of geography, the sales acceleration was driven by Asia, in particular China (despite the adverse Chinese New Year phasing), India and travel retail Asia, the company said. Pernod Ricard said it had achieved “sustained and diversified growth, with all regions and categories performing well”.

Pernod Ricard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Ricard said: “H1 FY18 was a very good semester, with an acceleration vs. FY 17, in particular in China, India and Global Travel Retail.

“For full-year FY18, we will maintain our focus on digital, innovation and operational excellence (including pricing). We expect sustained and diversified growth to continue across our regions and brands. We are therefore increasing our guidance for full-year FY18 organic growth in profit from recurring operations to between +4% and +6%.”

Martell’s travel retail performance stood out in Asia, Europe and the Americas