Jameson Irish Whiskey emerged the star performer in Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard’s international portfolio in the year to June 30th, 2010 “despite the challenging conditions for many of Jameson’s key markets”.
Sales volumes grew by over nine per cent reaching 2.92 million cases in the 12 months to 30th June, with double-digit growth in 24 of over 100 markets around the world where it is sold. Sales values outstripped this figure, growing by over 12 per cent.
The brand performed particularly well in the US where Impact magazine placed it as a Hot Brand for the ninth year in a row and it also placed it in 33rd position in its top global brands review.
Back home in Ireland however, the economic downturn muffled sales growth for IDL Pernod Ricard where spirits sales declined by seven per cent in the year to June 30th with on-trade sales being particularly fraught, dropping by 14 per cent in the six months to June 30th.
IDL Pernod Ricard’s spirits portfolio derived some degree of benefit from the reduction in cross-border shopping during the year and its portfolio gained share in the highly competitive and growing off-trade.
Sales of Absolut grew over 50 per cent during the year, however, while West Coast Cooler grew sales by over 70 per cent, driven by a multi-million €uro advertising campaign.
Commenting on the performance of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard for the full year, Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted that Jameson has accelerated its growth performance this year in key markets around the world”.
He continued, “The figures speak for themselves! Jameson sold 466,000 cases in 1988 when Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard. In 1996, the one million case milestone was achieved. Ten years later in 2006, sales doubled to two million cases. The next milestone for Jameson is to sell three million cases, which will be achieved in the coming months, in addition to the achievement of selling one million cases in the USA”.
With around 95 per cent of Jameson now being exported, Alexandre Ricard concluded, “In these very difficult times, Ireland needs success stories such as Jameson to aid economic recovery and restore consumer confidence. Government has a vital role to play in helping to ensure a sustainable local market for export-oriented industries and I would wish to acknowledge the very positive impact of the 20 per cent excise reduction, particularly for spirits, in last December’s budget. This initiative has helped to stabilise the off-trade market overall and to reduce the very significant price differential with Northern Ireland. The hospitality sector however continues to suffer badly (-14 per cent in 2010), which all stakeholders in this important sector for jobs and tourism need to be cognisant of in their policy decisions and actions”.
Pernod Ricard’s full year results showed a like-for-like growth in sales of two per cent to €7.08 billion on the back of a five per cent organic increase in marketing to provide net profit of €951 million, up one per cent.