Pernod Ricard travel retail revenues slide 3% amid H1 sales drop

By Kristiane Sherry |

Royal Salute was a star performer for Pernod Ricard in its H1 sales.

Royal Salute was a star performer for Pernod Ricard in its H1 sales.

Global travel retail sales at Pernod Ricard declined by 3% for the first half of its 2024 fiscal year, with business in the channel standing at 95% of pre-pandemic levels.

The company attributed the declines to a “lag” in the recovery of Chinese passenger numbers. However it said it was expecting “strong growth” in the second half of the year.

Sales across the business also declined by 3% on an organic basis to €6.59 billion (US$7bn), yet CEO Alexandre Ricard described the performance as “robust”.

Profits from recurring operations also fell by 3% over the period to €2.14bn (US$2.3bn).

Looking forward, Pernod Ricard said it now expects to be “broadly stable” organic net sales over the full 2024 year. Previously it had said it would see growth across its business. 

Regional performance was mixed, with the Americas region seeing a 7% sales decline across all channels. Despite this, Jameson Original, Malibu, Kahlua, The Glenlivet, Código all saw share gains. 

Asia-Rest of World saw 1% gains overall with India up 4%, yet the Chinese market saw losses of 9%. Martell remained “resilient” with premium and super premium whiskies “in growth”. 

Travel retail saw “good growth” in the region, but Pernod Ricard noted a “cautious trade sentiment” ahead of the Lunar New Year season.

Sales in Europe fell by 4%, but that figure improved to a 1% decline when Russia was excluded. 

Poland led “strong growth” in Eastern Europe, while Germany stood out in a “resilient” Western Europe.

Softening was noted in France and the UK, and travel retail in the region fell by 3%. 

Pernod Ricard performance by brand

Royal Salute, Havana Club and Perrier-Jouët performed well, but this was offset by declines from Martell, Jameson, Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s.

On a brand level with a global view, only Havana Club (+3%), Royal Salute (+8%) and Perrier-Jouët (+4%) in the Strategic International Brands division saw growth.

Mumm (-9%) saw the biggest declines, followed by Ballantine’s, Beefeater and Martell (all -8%) and Chivas Regal (-7%). 

Pernod Ricard travel retail sales declined in H1 2024

Pernod Ricard travel retail sales declined by 3% in H1 2024

“We delivered a robust performance in the first half of the year, as we confidently steer Pernod Ricard through the normalisation of the spirits market, following two years of outstanding growth,” said Alexandre Ricard, Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO.

“We achieved strong gross margin expansion on the back of substantial pricing actions, thanks to the power of our premium portfolio. 

“With a diversified footprint spanning mature and emerging regions and a broad presence across spirits categories, we are able to weather volatility and  continue to gain share in many markets. 

“I am convinced that our sound strategy, together with the dedication, agility, and exceptional  engagement of all our teams around the world, will enable us to deliver our ambitions.”

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail partnered with Changi Airport and Lotte Duty Free to showcase an elevated whisky collection at the travel retailer’s duplex stores at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 departures.

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