Diageo found growth in Johnnie Walker

Diageo found growth in Johnnie Walker

Diageo's spirits volumes in the US off-trade have bounced back over the Christmas selling period, but remain down for the overall year, latest figures have revealed.

A strong performance from the group's Johnnie Walker range gave Diageo a 4.3% year-on-year volumes jump in the four weeks to 4 January, according to Nielsen data, cited by analysts Nomura yesterday (21 January). The figure was ahead of the industry average rise in volumes of 3.4% average in the four weeks, as well as Pernod Ricard's 0.5% volume increase.

However, for the 52 weeks to 4 January, Diageo's volumes were down by 0.9% year-on-year, according to Nielsen figures, which cover the US off-trade. 

Nomura's Ian Shackleton said the new data points to “a good end to (Diageo's) Q2”. He added: “Diageo volumes have been underperforming the industry for all of this year in Nielsen, partly as we have seen stronger price/mix in Nielsen channels.”

Shackleton said the price/mix for the four-week period was more in line with the industry average.

Diageo's sales by value also improved throughout the year, according to Nielsen. For the 52-weeks to 4 January sales increased by 4.1% year-on-year, while for the final four-week period they were up 7%. Dollar sales were not detailed. 

Meanwhile, other spirits companies showed mixed performances in the four weeks to 4 January in the country. 

Brown-Forman volumes were up 0.6% with a price/mix increase of 5%. Its Tennessee Honey extension showed very strong growth in the period, up 14.4% in volumes and 6.4% in price/mix.

Italian group Campari reported strong volumes at +10.8%, but its price/mix was weak, falling 3.9%.

Remy Cointreau outperformed the industry with volume and price/mix at +11.6% and +14.7%, respectively. The performance was mainly driven by the Remy Martin Cognac brand, which increased volumes by 71.4% with a slight increased price/mix of 1.9%.

The news should be well received at Remy Cointeau – the group posted a sharp drop in third-quarter sales yesterday because of Cognac troubles in China.

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