Pernod Ricard is presenting to media at its Capital Markets Day today

Pernod Ricard is presenting to media at its Capital Markets Day today

Pernod Ricard has played down suggestions that it is behind the growth curve in Africa as it looks to increase it presence in the area.

Last week, analysts at Nomura warned that Pernod is lagging Diageo in the Scotch whisky category, due in part to its “historical under-representation in some key geographies (especially LatAm and Africa)”. While Pernod is posting a CAGR of 4.9% in total Scotch sales over the last five years, Diageo can boast a CAGR of 10.9%.

However, speaking exclusively to just-drinks at the sidelines of Pernod's Capital Markets Day today (30 May), MD of distribution Alex Ricard maintained that the company is working hard to up its African footprint.

“A year ago, we had one subsidiary and two branches in Africa, in South Africa, Ivory Coast and Gabon.” Ricard told just-drinks. “Today, we are on the way to having six subsidiaries in Africa. We opened Namibia in October, we opened in Kenya a month ago and we'll open branches in Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria by year-end.

“Our staff numbers in Africa are expanding on a weekly basis,” he added. “There's nothing as powerful as having your own people on the ground. We've always said local roots with global reach.”

In one presentation at the Capital Markets Day, Pernod claimed its strong performance in China's international spirits markets was in part down to its head-start over the likes of Diageo in the country.

“Africa remains virgin territory for international spirits,” Ricard added. “We know we're not too late.”