Pernod Ricard drinks to an improved 2018 but currency exchange bites


Chief executive Alexandre Ricard (Source: Getty)

Drinks giant Pernod Ricard has shaken up its top team to strengthen global strategy, after it raised profit guidance today.

The Figures

Sales in the first half of 2018 grew 5.1 per cent to over €5bn (£4.4bn) on an organic basis, but reported growth was 0.4 per cent due to the impact of currency exchange.  

The group raised guidance for full-year profits to between four and six per cent growth in earnings before interest and tax, up from an estimate of three to five per cent.

But updated guidance on the negative impact of foreign exchange was pushed up to €180m for the year, compared to previous estimates of €125m.

Read more: Honey gin, red ale, and sherry: Experts predict the drinks trends of 2018

Why it's interesting

Pernod Ricard appeared to be determined to reinvigorate itself this morning.

First there was a striking new advertising campaign for Absolut Vodka, featuring Swedish staff in their birthday suits. Vodka sales have been declining globally as new spirits like whisky and gin gain market share. This is certainly one way to try and get consumers interested again. It was revealed today that chief executive Alexandre Ricard even appeared topless in a video introducing the company's workers to the new campaign.

Along with the results, the announcement was made that several people in its top team will be moving to new roles.

Most significantly Christian Porta, current chair and CEO of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa and Latin America divisions has been made managing director of global business development in an effort to co-ordinate strategies globally.

His former post will be filled by finance managing director Gilles Bogaert.

What Pernod Ricard said

Chief executive Alexandre Ricard said the first half was “a very good semester". 

"For full-year 2018, we will maintain our focus on digital, innovation and operational excellence (including pricing.) We expect sustained and diversified growth to continue across our regions and brands."

Read more: Pernod Ricard eyes further gin growth with launch of specialist unit