Blog: Olly WehringSilly Season gives way to figures-a-go-go

Olly Wehring | 1 August 2006

The figures bun-fight, which kicked off last week, never fails to catch me off-guard. The two or so weeks in the middle of the silence of summer where everyone chucks their results at us, always comes as a shock to the system.

Most notable of the slew were Anheuser-Busch, which saw revitalised domestic beer volumes. That, plus a strong performance from Mexico’s Grupo Modelo - in which A-B holds a 50% stake - drove a 3.9% rise in net income during the first-half of the year. We’ll have an in-depth review of how the US brewer turned its tanker round later this week, so keep your eyes peeled.

Pernod also contributed to the workload last week, inviting just-drinks to the annual plate-spinning event that is its results lunch - have you ever tried taking notes while trying to cut salmon? Not easy, believe me. The figures themselves were pretty good, but the honeymoon period following Pernod’s takeover of Allied Domecq is definitely over, however. With the Allied purchase now a year old, the French drinks giant’s figures from now on will give a far better indication of how it is performing. For a look at the former Allied brands and where they stand a year on, click here.

Pernod also hit the headlines last week, as speculation mounted that it is in talks to buy Mexico’s Tequila Herradura. Naturally, the company - along with other supposed frontrunners Bacardi and Brown-Forman - remain tight-lipped on the rumours.

With the Tequila category growing impressively, it’s obvious why the big companies want to get a slice. Yet one analyst last week was unimpressed with the Herradura talk. “It’s so small in relation to other Tequila companies that we’re not paying it a lot of attention,” he told just-drinks. With Diageo’s Cuervo and Fortune’s Sauza dominating Tequila sales, he continued, it’s going to prove tough for anyone else to break into the category.

And yet, the linking of Pernod’s name to any Tequila brand shows how painful it must have been to offer Sauza to Fortune as the carrot to make the Allied purchase possible.

We’ll keep you posted.


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