Pernod Ricard range

Price hikes boosted Pernod Ricard’s growth in the UK over the past quarter, its latest figures reveal.

Revenues at the French spirits producer increased 7% in the third quarter to €1.99bn, made up of 3% organic growth and a 4% from currency tailwinds.

European sales were particularly “strong” it said, driven in part by a “dynamic” UK performance boosted by advance shipments linked to recent price increases.

Pernod admitted last month it had hiked UK prices for its spirits portfolio to counter the effects of the weakness in the pound in the wake of the Brexit vote.

“In an uncertain environment, our strategy is consistent and driving results, in particular in terms of diversifying the sources of growth,” CEO Alexandre Ricard said.

Sales in the quarter were softer than expected, however, as a result of a curb on alcohol in India and timings of the Chinese New Year.

The Jameson owner reported organic growth of 4% in the first nine months of its financial year to €7.1bn (£6bn).

The company’s strategic international brands, which include Beefeater, Absolut Vodka and Havana Club, were a “key driver” of overall sales growth improvement globally, the group added, with 11 out of 13 brands in growth. Strategic wines were also up 7%, largely driven by Campo Viejo.

Pernod said growth across the Americas was strong (up 7%), with Jameson, Martell and Altos recording double-digit jumps in the US.

“Pernod is doing the right things: focusing on premium, cutting costs, simplifying reporting structures and adapting to the new normal in cognac,” said Robert Waldschmidt, analyst at Liberum.

“There are signs of early success across the US, Europe and Asia. In particular, the US business is improving and Pernod is slightly outperforming Diageo.”

Exclusive research by The Grocer that week revealed spirits prices were surging across the supermarkets, with the price of a bottle of Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut Vodka Blue up 6% to £17 [Brand View 52 w/e 29 March 2017].