The enduring global appeal of The Glenlivet single malt whisky helped Pernod Ricard toa 3% rise in first half profits, the French drink giant said yesterday.
Paris-based Pernod said The Glenlivet, produced near Ballindalloch on Speyside, was a strong performer among its top 14 key brands during the first half of its 2015/16 trading year.
But its Chivas Regal whisky brand, made at the Strathisla distillery in Keith, suffered “difficulties” due to faltering economic growth in Asia and weaker travel retail sales.
Pernod’s Indian whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac and Perrier-Jouet and Mumm champagnes all joined The Glenlivet – one of the world’s favourite drams – on the star performers list.
Work on the expansion of the Glenlivet Distillery got under way in September, with its owner aiming to double production of the popular single malt.
Pernod subsidiary Chivas Brothers forged ahead with its investment into the brand after it sold more than 1million cases of the premium drink in 2014. This represented 11% growth in sales, which Chivas hailed as a “standout achievement.
Yesterday, Pernod said organic sales of the whisky grew by 7% during the six months to December 31.
Pernod said overall sales growth was helped mostly by robust demand for its drinks in its main US market and by cost control.
The world’s second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo said it still faced a tough environment in China and difficulties in South Korea in the first half, and kept its annual profit growth outlook unchanged.
First-half group sales reached £3.9billion, an organic year-on-year rise of 3%, while underlying increased by 6% to £1.1billion.