Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Diageo Sales Up 9% In First Quarter

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo PLC posted an organic net sales increase of 9% in the three months through September, its fiscal first quarter, with all of its global operating regions showing growth of 5% or higher. Sales at the drinks giant’s North America unit were up 5% despite a 2% volume decline, as its U.S. product mix shifted to higher-priced items versus the same period last year (last year’s Q1 included the U.S. launch of accessibly-positioned Rökk vodka). Diageo said business in the wine category “remained weak” and that beer sales—where it recently unveiled a new offering, Guinness Black Lager—were roughly flat.

Meanwhile, results were solid across the rest of Diageo’s global business, with Europe rebounding to post 6% sales growth on the back of strong performances in Russia, Germany and the Nordic markets and an improvement in Spain, which at this time last year was in the midst of destocking. Latin America, boosted by a similar rebound in Venezuela, soared 30%, while Africa rose 9% (although South Africa struggled due to trading down activity). Johnnie Walker continued its standout performance in Asia Pacific, leading to a 14% sales increase for Diageo in that region, despite a slight slowdown in the Chinese economy during the period.

Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said the “fragile global economy” and a projected £35 million ($55m) negative exchange rate effect on operating profit over the course of the fiscal year pose hurdles. But he added that Diageo “continues to expect that net sales growth for the first half will improve on that delivered in fiscal 2011.” Pernod Ricard, Diageo’s closest rival across the global spirits market, unveils its first-quarter numbers tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

(by Shanken News Daily) Patrón Spirits has partnered with local player Aspri Spirits to enter India’s spirits market with its flaghip Tequila brand, as well as Ultimat vodka and Pyrat rum. Aspri, whose portfolio also includes Gruppo Campari and Distell brands among others, will distribute Patrón’s offerings in key cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, focusing on top restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and premium retail locations.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ultra-Premiums Are Fastest Growing Spirits Segment, According To Latest Nielsen Numbers

(by Shanken News Daily) Total spirits sales grew 3.2% by volume in the 52-week period ending September 17, 2011 to 57.6 million cases, according to the latest figures from Nielsen. Growth was even faster in dollars, up 3.8% to $8.35 billion. Ultra-premium spirits (average price of $35.38 a 750-ml. bottle) comprised less than 5% of overall volume but represented the fastest-growing segment in the 52-week period, up 11.7% by volume. Value-priced spirits (averaging $6.61 a bottle) showed the slowest growth, up 1.7%.

The 1.75-liter bottle was the biggest-selling size in Nielsen channels, but 750-ml. bottles showed the best growth—another sign that the market is continuing to premiumize even in an uncertain economy.

Based on the most recent four- and 13-week Nielsen periods, prepared cocktails were the fastest-growing spirits type by both volume and dollar sales. Skinnygirl Margarita led the growth charge during the key summer-selling season.

The fastest-growing spirits types by volume in the 52-week period were Irish whiskey (+21.5%), prepared cocktails (+15.2%), Cognac (+9.6%) and Tequila (+5.1%). Flavored vodkas (+17.1%) outperformed regular vodkas (+2.7%), and flavored rums (+4.5%) outperformed regular rums (-1.9%). Other declining types include gin (-1.9%), Scotch whisky (-1.1%) and non-Cognac brandy (-2.4%).

The Nielsen channels include food stores, drugstores, liquor stores and other select channels and account for 30% of the total U.S. spirits market by volume, as estimated by Impact.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Diageo Will Be Presenting Sponsor For Two ESPN Television Segments

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo will be presenting sponsor for two ESPN television segments—“Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption” and their corresponding programs on Spanish-language ESPN Deportes—beginning this month through September 2012, reports AdAge. The sponsorship will be highlighted on the programs as “Happy Hour.” Diageo will use the television time to spotlight its products, starting with Guinness Black Lager on ESPN and Captain Morgan Rum on Deportes. ESPN will also create a place on its website to feature clips from the two programs, also sponsored by Diageo. The company already sponsored “Pardon the Interruption” before it decided to make itself more noticeable on air. AdAge reports that Diageo spent around $21.7 million on ESPN’s platforms in 2010.

Texas Titan: Twin Liquors Now Up To 67 Units As In-State Expansion Continues Apace

(by Shanken News Daily) Austin-based Twin Liquors is one of Texas’s beverage alcohol retail giants. The 67-unit chain is run by the brother and sister team of David and Margaret Jabour, who serve as president and executive vice president of the 78-year-old business, which was founded by their grandfather and uncle shortly after Prohibition’s repeal. As third-generation owners, the Jabours take a long-term view, focusing on industry relationships and educating customers. Revenues aren’t made public, but reliable industry sources put Twin Liquors among the top three beverage alcohol retailers in Texas with annual sales of more than $200 million, behind only Houston-based Spec’s and Dallas-based Centennial. Shanken News Daily recently spoke to David and Margaret about trends in Texas, as well as their new interactive marketplace store concept.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Pernod Ricard USA Names Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota Its Exclusive Wine and Spirits Distributor

(by Shanken News Daily) Pernod Ricard USA has named Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota its exclusive wine distributor and preferred spirits distributor across the state (Pernod says it will also continue to work with other spirits distributors in the state). Pernod’s wine business was previously aligned with Wirtz Beverage Group in Minnesota. Southern now acts as the distributor for Pernod products in 27 states across the U.S. market. Southern entered Minnesota in 2010 via a joint venture with J.J. Taylor, one of the top U.S. beer wholesalers.

Beam Inc. Begins Trading on New York Stock Exchange

(by Shanken News Daily) Former Fortune Brands division Beam Inc. began trading as an independent company on the New York Stock Exchange October 4, 2011, completing its transformation into a stand-alone global spirits entity. Fortune Brands announced last April that it would operate as Beam Inc., following a decision to sell off its home and security and golf units to focus solely on spirits. Beam Inc. is the world’s fifth-largest spirits marketer, with a global volume of 33.5 million cases and annual sales of around $2.7 billion in 2010.