(by Shanken News Daily) Jameson Irish whiskey continues to drive Pernod Ricard USA’s progress, with 23% organic sales growth in the nine months through March. Pernod's top 14 strategic brands were up 5% in the U.S. over the same period. The Glenlivet single malt Scotch and Malibu rum also delivered healthy U.S. growth, with each rising by 9%. Malibu’s recent sales lift has been led by innovations such as its new Malibu Red and Malibu Sunshine extensions, Pernod said.
In an encouraging sign, Kahlúa liqueur returned to U.S. growth in the three months through March after sliding by nearly a quarter of a million cases over the past five years. On the other hand, Pernod’s largest brand, Absolut, which rebounded in 2010 after two down years, is continuing to face intense competition in its core U.S. market, and declined 1% over the first three quarters of Pernod’s fiscal year, which ends in June. Absolut has lost half a million cases in the U.S. since 2007.
Globally, Pernod Ricard posted a 9% organic sales increase to €6.32 billion ($8.4b) in the nine months through March. China (+22%) and India (+25%) continue to be the top growth areas for the company. On a brand basis, Royal Salute (+24%), Martell (+23%), Perrier-Jouët (+21%), The Glenlivet (+18%), Jameson (+17%), Chivas Regal (+12%) and Ricard (+11%) were among Pernod’s biggest gainers worldwide over the past nine months.