Beam Suntory hails ‘exceptional’ GTR performance in full-year results

By Kristiane Sherry |

Beam Suntory spirits portfolio

Premium products now account for more than half of Beam Suntory’s full-bottle sales.

Beam Suntory’s net sales jumped 10.5% in 2022, with premium-plus spirits accounting for more than half of full bottle sales for the first time. 

Its full-year financial results show a sharp growth acceleration, with sales now 24% above pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Global travel retail, alongside Spain, Oceania and India, was cited as delivering an ‘exceptional’ performance, with ‘very strong double-digit growth’.

The statement comes as the drinks supplier’s parent Suntory reported revenues of ¥2,970,138 million/US$ 22,186 million in 2022, representing 16.1% growth.

“The quality of these results is clear and reflects our strategy to premiumise our spirits portfolio, build RTD leadership, and focus on value over volume,” commented Beam Suntory President and CEO, Albert Baladi.

“We delivered these results despite significant challenges including supply chain disruptions, record inflationary pressures, our withdrawal from Russia, and restrictive Covid policies in China.”

Performance by brand and segment

Premium brand sales climbed 15% over the year, marginally out-paced by RTDs (ready-to-drink) products, which grew 16% thanks to Japan, Australia and the US.

Beam Suntory’s bourbon portfolio experienced accelerated growth up the price ladder. While Jim Beam saw ‘single-digit’ increases, Maker’s Mark and Basil Hayden soared by 11% and 40% respectively.

Jim Beam bourbon bottle

Jim Beam (pictured) returned ‘single-digit’ sales growth.

Japanese spirits Roku gin, and Hibiki and Yamazaki whiskies delivered ‘impressive double-digit’ gains, as did Bowmore single malt Scotch, Knob Creek bourbon, and Tres Generaciones and Hornitos Tequilas. 

Building on its established presence in the Japanese RTD market, Beam Suntory reported a doubling of On-The-Rocks sales in the US, and ‘explosive’ growth for -196 in Australia. Canadian Club & Dry and Jim Beam RTD also contributed ‘double-digit’ gains.

Outside of global travel retail, Beam Suntory said it delivered a ‘strong performance’, despite global economic headwinds, Covid, and inflationary pressures. 

North America sales climbed 8% year-on-year, with Canada and Mexico reporting double-digit gains. Asia soared 13%, while the International segment – which includes GTR – posted 10% growth.

‘Sustainable growth’ mindset

Last year produced ‘high’ capital expenditures with a focus on growing capacity, elevating quality, and driving sustainability, said the company.

Investments for the year included $400 million for its Booker Noe distillery, which increased Jim Beam production while cutting carbon emissions by 50%. 

The company also moved its global headquarters to New York in September, to place teams in a “globally influential and diverse city at the forefront of trends”.

Maker’s Mark GTR exclusive Wood Finishing City Series - the Sydney Edition.

Maker’s Mark GTR exclusive Wood Finishing City Series – the Sydney Edition.

Beam Suntory also published its inaugural sustainability report in 2022, focusing on its Proof Positive strategy. Through the initiative, more than $1 billion will be invested in environmental and sustainability programmes. 

Recent Beam Suntory travel retail activity includes launching the channel-exclusive Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing City Series, and unveiling two Sipsmith gin editions to celebrate the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

WATCH BELOW: Exclusive video interview with Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail Marketing Director Manuel González, conducted at last year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes.

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