Volumes dip in 2009 for Havana Club

Volumes dip in 2009 for Havana Club

Pernod Ricard's Cuban rum joint venture, Havana Club International, has posted a slight dip in full-year volume sales of its namesake brand, in what the firm has described as a “resilient performance”.

Havana Club International (HCI), which Pernod runs with Cuban firm Cubaexport, confirmed today (16 April) that sales in 2009 dropped by 3.5% on 2008, coming in at 3.3m nine-litre cases.

The company blamed the fall on “temporary supply issues” in the brand's domestic market, which accounted for 80% of the decrease. Tough market conditions in Italy and Spain were also cited as having an effect on volumes.

Havana Club enjoyed double-digit growth in 15 of its key markets, however, including France, Sweden, Canada, Belgium and Argentina.

“We have seen that, within the recession, consumers are still spending but are being more discerning with their purchases,” said HCI's managing director, Marc Beuve-Méry. “We are confident that our sales will increase in line with the global economic recovery.”

Havana Club is the number two international rum brand behind Bacardi outside of the US, where Cuban products are banned due to the trade embargo.

Last week, the latest twist in the long-running legal battle between Pernod and Bacardi saw the French firm lodge an appeal against a US ruling. On Wednesday (7 April), a district court in Wilmington, Delaware, ruled that the origin of Bacardi's Havana Club rum, which is only available in the US, is “geographically accurate” as the bottle states that the rum is made in Puerto Rico.