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French drinks group Rémy Cointreau saw full-year organic sales increase 1.8%, boosted by a double-digit gain for Cognac in the fourth quarter.
Rémy Cointreau’s sales for the year ending March 2021 reached €1.01 billion (US$1.2bn), led by a strong performance in the second half. The firm’s fourth quarter sales grew 15.1%.
In January, the Rémy Martin Cognac owner reported strong double-digit growth in the third quarter of its fiscal year, which marked the firm’s return to growth.
In October, the company saw H1 sales drop 16.4% due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on duty free and on-trade sales.
Cognac sales rose 3.7% for the full year, led by ‘excellent momentum’ in the US and mainland China in the fourth quarter (up 18.2%).
The fourth quarter sales boost for Cognac was due to an ‘excellent performance’ during the Chinese New Year in Asia Pacific, and a strong performance in the US.
Rémy Cointreau said the duty free market and the on-trade channel affected sales of Cognac in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The liqueurs and spirits division declined by 3.2% for the 12-month period, but fourth quarter sales improved with a 7.1% increase.
Cointreau saw ‘strong’ sales growth over the full year, bolstered by double-digit gains in the US, UK, Benelux and Australia. The liqueur brand also benefitted from its communication strategy focused on the Margarita cocktail.
The whisky business also performed strongly due to ‘solid momentum’ across most of its key markets, particularly in Asia during Chinese New Year.
The rest of the company’s portfolio was hindered by ‘weakness’ in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and duty free.
By market, the Americas region was up 18.6% in the full year, driven by the US.
The Asia Pacific region reported a 4.5% drop for the period, despite ‘strong’ double-digit gains in mainland China and Australia.
The EMEA region dropped 21.7% as a result of Covid-19 restrictions on the on-trade.
However, the UK, Benelux, Switzerland and Eastern Europe witnessed ‘strong momentum’ due to an increase in at-home consumption.
Rémy Cointreau said its full-year sales were slightly ahead of expectations. As such, the firm now predicts its organic operating profit will grow by 10% for the next financial year.
The firm expects a ‘strong start’ for the beginning of the next full year, boosted by ‘buoyant’ consumer trends in the US.