Jameson owner Pernod Ricard sees profits jump as restrictions ease

Spirit giant Pernod Ricard has reported a recovery in profits after sales were buoyed by the easing of restrictions in the US and China.

The Jameson whiskey and Absolut vodka owner also hailed a boost from a “dynamic rebound” in the UK, Germany and Eastern Europe.

The group said both sales and profits were above pre-pandemic levels, despite the continued impact of pandemic restrictions on bars and restaurants.

It told investors on Wednesday that it saw operating profits rise by 18.3% on an organic basis from the year, surpassing expectations.

Meanwhile, sales increased by 9.7% against pre-pandemic levels, as it was particularly buoyed by a 56.5% jump in the final quarter, as restrictions were eased in the UK and other key regions.

The firm, which also makes Beefeater gin, said it expects this “good sales momentum” to continue through the current quarter.

Pernod Ricard added that it saw strong sales of Jameson in the US and Martell cognac in China.

However, the firm’s wine arm saw strong growth for Campo Viejo offset by declines for its Jacob’s Creek and Kenwood brands.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive of the company, said: “The business rebounded very strongly during full-year 2021 to exceed full-year 2019 levels.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the exceptional commitment of our teams during this difficult time and express my support to those who have been or continue to be impacted by this pandemic.

“We will stay the strategic course, accelerating our digital transformation and our ambitious sustainability and responsibility roadmap.

“Thanks to our solid fundamentals, our teams and our brand portfolio, we are emerging from this crisis stronger.”