French spirits group Pernod Ricard said Wednesday it had made record sales in the US and China as it announced annual results that show it has nearly surmounted the Covid pandemic.
The world’s number two drinks group said sales rose by 4.5 per cent in its financial year that ended on June 30.
At €8.8 billion (£7.5bn), sales approached the pre-crisis level of 9.2 billion in 2018/2019, and surpassed it if currency rate changes are excluded, the company said.
Net profit nearly quadrupled from last year to €1.3bn, returning to a similar level as in 2018/2019.
Strict pandemic lockdowns in many countries in April through June last year slammed sales of spirits in bars and restaurants which was not compensated for by increased consumption at home.
Despite the Delta variant forcing some nations to reimpose restrictions, Pernod Ricard says the outlook for its business is good.
“We expect this good sales momentum to continue” said CEO Alexandre Ricard, referring to the company recovering to near pre-pandemic levels.
He added that sales in the July-September quarter are “very dynamic”.
In Europe, sales grew 4 per cent, with rebound in the UK, Germany and Eastern Europe offsetting declines in Spain, Ireland and Travel Retail.