Pernod Ricard sees full-year profit fall due to coronavirus pandemic

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Alcohol producer Pernod Ricard has confirmed their full-year sales fell by 9.5% to €8.4 billion (£7.5 billion), due to the first six months of 2020 being impacted by coronavirus.

Sales during the fourth quarter fell by 36.2% to €1.238 billion (£1.1 billion) following the travel retail and on-trade industry being significantly impacted by the global lockdown.

The French company’s profit from recurring operations fell 13.7% on an organic basis to €2.260 billion in the year ended 30th June.

This impact fared better compared to than the revised guidance in July of a 15% decline.

Off-trade sales did do better than expected in Europe and the US in particular thanks to tight cost control.

Both the US and Europe saw full-year sales drop by 6% while falling 6% while Asia and the rest of the world saw over figures fall by over double in comparison (14%).

The company’s speciality brands, including aperitif wine Lillet and super-premium tequila Altos, did however grow by 7% during the period.

CEO of Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard, said the fourth quarter should see some improvement in sales as more restaurants, cafes and bars reopen.

He also expected the financial year for 2021 will continue to be uncertain with a potential “prolonged downturn” in travel retail.

“We will stay the strategic course and accelerate our digital transformation while maintaining strict discipline, with clear, purpose-based investment decisions,” he explained.

“We will harness our agility to adjust fast to capture new opportunities. Thanks to our solid fundamentals, our teams and our brand portfolio, I am confident that Pernod Ricard will emerge from this crisis stronger.”