FRANCE – Pernod Ricard, the French spirit and wine group, posted €5.474bn (US$5.93bn) in total sales for the first half of the FY20, with organic growth of 2.7% and a 4.3% organic growth in profit from recurring operations.

During the six-months period, the company delivered diversified growth across regions, with robust performance of must-win markets USA, India and China, despite a challenging operating environment.

Sales in the USA were up by 4% driven by whiskies and specialty brands while China posted much stronger H1. Sales in China increased by 11% which the company attributed to an earlier Chinese New Year. In India, sales grew by 5%.

Pernod Ricard also reported growth in Americas with a 2% increase driven by USA- which partially offset by weaker Mexican market and phasing in Travel Retail.

In Asia, the company posted an overall 3% growth driven mainly by China and India. The company said that growth in the region was dampened by the transfer of Imperial Korea to a third-party distributor.

Strong growth with improving trends driven by Germany, UK and Eastern Europe acceleration helped to offset difficulties in France resulting to a 3% overall growth in the European market.

According to the company’s financial report for the half year, dynamic performance was also posted in strategic international brands, in particular Jameson, Martell, The Glenlivet, Malibu, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and Beefeater.

“H1 FY20 demonstrated solid growth and resilience of our business model,” commented Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our 3 year-plan Transform& Accelerate is driving success, as evidenced by the diversification of the sources of growth in terms of geographic footprint and categories, continued strong pricing and ultimately the improvement in operating leverage.”  

Looking to H2 FY20, Alexandre sees the environment remaining particularly uncertain from a geopolitical standpoint, with the additional pressure related to the the coronavirus outbreak.

“While we cannot currently predict the duration and extent of the impact, we remain confident in our strategy. Our first priority is to ensure the safety and well being of our employees and business partners,” Alexandre added.

The company expects to deliver 2% organic growth and 4% growth in Profit from Recurring Operations for full-year FY20.