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Pernod Ricard defends organic decline as spirits sales normalise

Published:  15 February, 2024

Pernod Ricard has announced what it is calling a robust performance in the first half of the 2024 financial year despite declines in its organic sales – a performance which the company is putting down to the normalisation of the spirits market following two years of outstanding growth.

The Absolut and Campo Viejo owner said that H1 FY24 sales totalled €6,590m – an organic decline of 3%.

The declines sit mainly at the door of a hesitant consumer base. China drinkers remain cautious, while negative financial impacts mainly linked to the US dollar, Turkish lira, Chinese yuan and Argentinian peso have also impacted sales.

This morning, however, shares in the French company have recovered somewhat as chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard forecasted an improvement in certain markets over the coming year, including the US.

“We delivered a robust performance in the first half of the year… and expect consumer demand to remain resilient as the spirits market continues to normalise,” he said.

He went on to highlight the “power of our premium portfolio” underpinned by a “sound strategy”, which sits alongside “the dedication, agility, and exceptional engagement of all our teams around the world”.

“With a diversified footprint spanning mature and emerging regions, and a broad presence across spirits categories, we are able to weather volatility and continue to gain share in many markets,” Ricard said.

In the UK specifically, the company reported a “softer performance” alongside France. The UK also had a part to play in the decline of the wine category which was down 11%, most notably in the US, UK and Canada, though Pernod did not explain why. Harpers has reached out for comment.