French liquor and spirits group Pernod Ricard has managed to increase its turnover 1 % over the past semester, but the new CEO Alexandre Ricard aims for a more substantial growth in the future.
4.6 billion euro turnover
Pernod Ricard is the world's second largest liquor company, with a 4.6 billion euro euro turnover in the past six months, mainly thanks to better American sales. Operational profit reached 1.36 billion euro, which means this has remained stable and in line with analyst expectations.
Thanks to its excellent Latin American sales, mainly in Brazil, and its tax free sales in airports, its American 6-month turnover reached 1.2 billion euro (+ 3 %). The region is worth a quarter of the company's total turnover in liquor, so a 3 % turnover increase is good news for Pernod Ricard "despite a difficult US market", where it dropped 2 % in turnover.
Europe represents 34 % of the group's turnover, but had to deal with a 2 % turnover drop, down to 1.6 billion euro. On a like-for-like basis, turnover grew 1 % however, with better performances in Spain and Great Britain and turnover losses in France, Germany and mainly Eastern Europe.
The group is holding steady in the rest of the world: strong growth in India (+ 19 %), a "gradual improvement" in China (still - 16 % because of the belated Chinese New Year) and double-digit growth in Africa (particularly in South Africa) have resulted in a 1.8 billion euro turnover, which is in turn 39 % of its total turnover.
Its whiskys Ballantine's (+ 5 %), Jameson (+ 10 %) and The Glenlivet (+ 14 %) and its champagnes Mumm (+ 8 %) and Perrier-Jouët (+ 9 %) have all performed well.
Founder's grandson takes control
The company has also shuffled its board: after 15 years of service, CEO Pierre Pringuet will relinquish his position to the grandson of Paul Ricard, Alexandre Ricard. The 42-year old will become the youngest CEO of any CAC40 company (CAC40 is the collection of France's 40 largest companies on the stock exchange).
The new CEO will also become chairman of the board, while the previous chairman (the founder's eldest daughter, Danièle Ricard) will also give up her position in the board to Véronica Vargas, great-granddaughter of the company's founder. That means the Ricard family has enlarged its control of the French liquor group.
Alexandre Ricard did not hide his ambitions when he took office: "Our absolute priority is to achieve growth, first and foremost in our two primary markets: China and the United States, without neglecting our emerging markets - like the African continent."