This figure was up from 2.9 million cases at the end of the previous financial year, according to the French drinks giant’s end-of-year results.
Consistent value growth ahead of volume remains a key objective for Jameson whose US sales grew by 29 per cent in a flat premium spirits market overall there.
According to a further briefing note from IDL, “Of the 120-plus markets in which Jameson is sold around the world, over 40 achieved double digit growth in FY 10/11”.
Here at home, the continued decline in the on-trade (down six per cent for spirits) combined with very depressed consumer confidence had a very negative impact on all sectors of the drinks industry in Ireland.
IDL’s portfolio of spirits reflected the market trends of the off-trade benefiting from a continued reduction in cross-border trading and a longer-term shift from the on-trade to major off-trade outlets (which continued during the year).
While overall sales declined by one per cent here, Jameson itself posted “double digit-growth”, growing share in Ireland which remains one of the brand’s key markets, leading Pernod’s Chief Executive Pierre Pringuet to remark that “Ireland looks like it’s emerging from it’s recession” when compared to the six per cent decline the previous year.
Powers too increased sales year-on-year with double-digit growth, gaining market share and confirming its position as Ireland’s second best-selling whiskey.
Both Jameson and Powers Gold Label, supported by advertising and promotion campaigns, recorded double-digit growth in Ireland.
However Pernod’s star performer was Absolut vodka which grew sales here by 74 per cent between July ’09 and ’10, benefiting from a strong brand-building programme.
The Old Jameson Distillery located in the historic Smithfield area of Dublin, enjoyed a 17 per cent increase in visitor numbers during the January to June period with 107,000 predominately overseas visitors. On a full year basis, with Midleton in Cork, IDL’s two centres welcome almost 300,000 visitors each year.
Commenting on the performance of Jameson, IDL Pernod Ricard Chairman and Chief Executive Alexandre Ricard said, “The continued and growing progress of Jameson within the Pernod Ricard family of brands has been one of the company’s great success stories, growing from 466,000 cases when IDL joined Pernod Ricard in 1988, to 3.4 million cases in FY 10/11. The milestones of three million cases sold worldwide, with one million of these in the US, were notable achievements in a most successful year for Jameson.
“The global success of Jameson is a significant contributor to the export-led recovery which Ireland and the Irish economy so badly needs. It is a success story of which Irish people can be justifiably proud – a modern icon of success, firmly built on a great tradition and heritage of whiskey making.”
But he added, “In stark contrast to this growth and optimism for our export markets, the outlook for an industry here in Ireland is concerning. However I welcome the Government initiative to boost the very important tourism and hospitality sectors with the recent significant VAT reduction. I would also urge the Government not to take any actions, either through taxation or legislation, which would undo this positive and much-needed stimulus for domestic consumption and confidence.
“Our industry needs a solid, sustainable home market to continue to deliver on the great export success of brands such as Jameson.”
Pernod Ricard announced a net global profit increase of 10 per cent to €1.08 billion on net sales of €7.64 billion, up seven per cent organically.
Pernod also reported a recovery in mature markets which grew 1.5 per cent organically during the company’s year.
In Europe, excluding France, the trend improved, with stable sales over the full financial year (compared to a decline of five per cent in 2009/10).
There was a moderate organic decline in Western Europe of two per cent which was primarily related to two markets, Greece (down 33 per cent) and Spain (down five per cent).
“Nonetheless” reports the company, “sales in Western Europe clearly improved when compared to the previous financial year (-5 per cent)”.