Pernod Ricard has reported a 25 per cent increase in its net profit for the first half of its 2018 financial year.

Sales for drinks giant in the first half totalled €5.08bn ($7.99bn), with organic growth of 5.1 per cent, and reported growth of 0.4 per cent, due to negative foreign exchange. The company said that there was “sustained and diversified growth” with “all regions and categories performing well”.

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “H1 FY18 was a very good semester, with an acceleration vs. FY 17, in particular in China, India and Global Travel Retail (GTR).

“For full-year FY18, we will maintain our focus on digital, innovation and operational excellence (including pricing.) We expect sustained and diversified growth to continue across our regions and brands.

“We are therefore increasing our guidance for full-year FY18 organic growth in Profit from Recurring Operations to between four per cent and six per cent.”

Ricard told analysts: “The fact that we raised our guidance at this point of the year reflects our confidence. The Chinese New Year starts in a week’s time. We are clearly confident.

“Our vision of mid to high single-digit growth in China is now a reality.”

As well as the highlighted growth in China, India and GTR, there was growth in the Americas region of six per cent, in Europe of three per cent, and Asia, which includes Australia grew by seven per cent.

The company’s strategic international brands continued their strong growth, with particularly strong performances coming Martell, which was up 10 per cent and Jameson, which grew 12 per cent. Pernod Ricard also highlighted accelerated growth for its strategic local brands, in particular Seagram’s Indian whiskies, Olmeca/Altos and an improving trend on Imperial in Korea.

There was also a significant improvement by “fast-growing premium brands, in particular Monkey 47, Lillet and Avion”.

The company also announced changes to its Executive Committee, with Christian Porta, currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA & LATAM, appointed to the newly created position of Managing Director, Global Business Development (GBD).

Gilles Bogaert, currently Managing Director in charge of Finance, IT and Operations, becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA & LATAM, while Hélène de Tissot, currently Group Strategy and M&A Director, becomes Group Finance, IT and Operations Director.

Jean-Christophe Coutures, currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Irish Distillers, becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chivas Brothers and Conor McQuaid, currently EVP Global Business Development, becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Irish Distillers.

Lastly, the Group announced the appointment of Philippe Coutin, currently Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard Rouss and Pernod Ricard Eastern Europe, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Ricard and Pernod Companies effective as of May 2019.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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