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Pernod Ricard's profits up 13%

Published:  09 September, 2009

Pernod Ricard has revealed annual profits up 13%, but has forecast a tough year ahead.

The acquisition last year of Vin Spirit - owners of Absolut - has helped increase sales with the brand achieving a 14% increase in the UK off-trade.

But there were some losers in the last year. New Zealand wine brand Montana suffered a 15% fall in shipments and "significant destocking" levels in the UK due to the global downturn. US shipments were particularly hard hit and in decline by a massive 25%.

Premium Champagne brand Perrier Joüet was badly affected with a 13% fall in volume, while the more affordable brand Mumm saw a slight volume growth.

Malibu and Kahlua also underperformed, the downturn in sales being blamed on cocktail drinkers deserting the on-trade. While other brands were said to be in decline because of people trading down and consuming at home.

Single digit growth brands included Glenlivet, Jameson's, Havana Club, Chivas Regal whilst sales remained stable for Jacob's Creek.

Speaking at a conference in London Pernod Ricard chief executive officer, Pierre Pringuet, said: "It has been an interesting year and we are still cautious, but
very confident a recovery will take place although there will be some delay in transferring that into actual sales.

"Despite a difficult climate we achieved a satisfactory performance in the year just ended. The main objectives next year are to reduce debt and we will make
no new acquisitions.

"It will be a tough time, but through our current actions of reducing costs we will be able to take full benefit of a recovery when it comes."