Jacob’s Creek was a star performer for Pernod Ricard in FY19, recording double-digit growth in markets including China and India.
Overall, Pernod Ricard’s reported sales for FY19 totalled €9,182million, with organic growth at 6%.
Jacob’s Creek is leading the group’s wine portfolio in China, which saw “outstanding growth” of 21%, with stand-out sales also recorded for Absolut, Ballantine’s Finest and The Glenlivet.
Pernod Ricard also announced it would spend $US150million building China’s first-ever malt whisky distillery at Emeishan, Sichuan.
“It’s a long-term project, and we expect to start distilling in 2021, and I look forward one day to be able to taste this great single malt Chinese whiskey with all of you,” said CEO Alexandre Ricard.
In India, there was “excellent performance”, up 20%, with “strong double-digit growth on Strategic Wines, led by Jacob’s Creek”.
Eastern Europe has also proven to be fertile ground for the Aussie wine brand, with Poland’s sales up 6% due to continued good growth from Ballantine’s, Jameson, Chivas, Jacob’s Creek and Seagram’s Gin.
However, the Australian Financial Review continues to discuss a potential sale of Pernod Ricard Winemakers portfolio.
Its latest speculation is that Accolade Wines is weighing up a potential $1 billion-plus buyout of the wine arm of Pernod Ricard.
Innovation also driving growth
Pernod Ricard innovations saw 26% growth from Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel, Martell Blue Swift, Beefeater Pink, Lillet, Altos, Martell Cordon Bleu extra, Absolut Lime, Absolut Grapefruit and Absolut Extrakt.
The company also reported “strong development of other innovations”, in particular Chivas XV, Mumm Grand Cordon, The Glenlivet 13yo, Monkey 47, Chivas Mizunara, Smooth Ambler, Scapa Skiren and Del Maguey.
Specialty Brands enjoyed 12% “continued dynamism”, particularly for Lillet, Altos, Monkey 47, Ultra premium Irish Whiskey range and Smooth Ambler bourbon.
That’s good news considering Pernod Ricard’s announcement yesterday that it had expanded its bourbon empire by entering into an agreement to buy Castle Brands for approximately $US233 million.
Castle owns spirits including Jefferson’s bourbon, Brady’s Irish Cream and Goslings Rum.