Diageo and Pernod Ricard enjoy strong sales start to 2011

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pernod ricard North america

Spirits rivals Diageo and Pernod Ricard are toasting a successful start to 2011, having beaten market expectations for the first three months of the year.

The two biggest global spirit producers both benefited from the consumer boom in emerging markets.

Pernod Ricard recorded a 5 per cent increase in year-on-year sales for its third quarter ending 31 March, reported turnover of €1.6bn. And Diageo enjoyed an even bigger revenue increase of 7 per cent.

Emerging market expansion

For both companies it was Asian, South American and African countries that delivered the best results while domestic markets continued to struggle.

At Diageo, ‘international’ and Asian sales were up 14 per cent and 9 per cent respectively, and Pernod Ricard said its emerging market sales rose 16 per cent.

In established markets, the picture was not so rosy although both spirits companies said the situation in North America is looking better.

Diageo said consumer trends are improving in the US and Canada, where it reported 3 per cent growth in the first three months of the year. But in Europe sales were down 3 per cent.

Paul Walsh, Diageo CEO, said: “Overall trading in Europe continues to be challenging although in the quarter stronger price/mix in Great Britain and Russia offset weaker price/mix in Ireland and Greece and a deterioration of the on trade in Spain.”

Similarly Pernod Ricard said the situation remained difficult in Europe, especially Spain, while trading in North America is “gradually improving”.

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