French drinks group Rémy Cointreau saw strong double-digit growth in the third quarter of its fiscal year, boosted by Cognac sales in China and the US.

Sales for the three months to December 2020 grew to €350m ((US$426m) on a reported basis, an increase of 20.6% compared with the same period in 2019.

The group’s Cognac sales grew strongly in Q3, growing 33.1% to €278.7m (US$339m). This followed declines of 18.1% during the first half of the firm’s fiscal year.

Cognac sales were boosted by ‘catch-up effects in US shipments’ and momentum in mainland China. Duty free sales of Cognac remained weak.

Sales of the group’s liqueurs and spirits posted a 7.2% increase during Q3. House of Cointreau sales grew by double digits during the period, driven by the US, UK, Australia and Belgium. The whisky business also posted growth during Q3.

Despite increases during the third quarter, sales for the first nine months of Rémy’s fiscal year were down 4.1% on a reported basis and valued at €780.9m (US$950m).

In the first nine months of the financial year, the group’s Cognac sales ‘held steady’ and were up just 0.1%. Sales of the group’s liqueurs and spirits dropped 6.2% in the year-to-date.

For its House of Metaxa, St-Rémy, The Botanist and Mount Gay brands, Rémy Cointreau said sales remained impacted by weakness in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and duty free.

By regions, Rémy Cointreau witnessed strong growth in the Americas, due to ‘excellent performance in the US’.

Asia Pacific continued to decline during the nine month period, despite returning to ‘modest growth’ in the third quarter thanks to mainland China and Australia.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa showed a ‘sequential improvement’ in the third quarter, but continued to be hit hard by the closure of the on-trade channel.

Rémy Cointreau said that only the UK had seen dynamic at-home consumption since the start of the pandemic.

Looking ahead to the final quarter of its fiscal year, Rémy Cointreau said it ‘remains confident of its ability to emerge stronger from the crisis’.

The group predicts ‘buoyant organic sales growth’ in Q4 and maintains its forecast of positive organic growth in its fiscal 2020/21 operating profits.
Via The Spirits Business
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