Pernod Ricard is anticipating an -80% decline in its travel retail business for the period from February to the end of June.

In its updated guidance for its financial year due to end 30 June 2020, the spirits & wines company said it was anticipating a -20% decline in profit from recurring operations for the 12-month period due to COVID-19.

A selection of the diverse Pernod Ricard portfolio of brands

Pernod Ricard added that China had seen very limited business in February and March due to the pandemic, but that the company was anticipating a slow recovery in this market from April.

In other markets, the company forecast no sales from the UK on-trade business from mid-March until the end of June, and a -10% reduction in off-trade sales for the same period.

Pernod Ricard Chairman & CEO Alexandre Ricard says the company remains confident in its strategy

Pernod Ricard Chairman & CEO Alexandre Ricard said: “Our business model and strategy are resilient. Our three-year plan, transform & accelerate, has been very successful, as demonstrated by the FY19 and H1 FY20 results, and will continue to positively impact the business as we move through the COVID-19 crisis.

“The environment has very significantly deteriorated due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are encouraged to see that, thanks to the implementation of strong measures, China appears to be starting to make a gradual recovery.

“While we cannot predict the duration and extent of the impact, we remain confident in our strategy. Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our employees and business partners. I would like to praise the exemplary behaviour of our teams during this very difficult time.

“With the revised assumptions linked to COVID-19, we are providing guidance of an organic decline in profit from recurring operations for full-year FY20 of c. -20%. We are staying the strategic course while implementing a comprehensive action plan to mitigate costs. Thanks to our solid fundamentals, rooted in employee engagement and the quality of our portfolio, I am confident in Pernod Ricard’s ability to bounce back and its growth potential.”