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April 28, 2021updated 16 Jun 2021 1:45pm

Sparkling wine woes drag down Henkell Freixenet 2020 sales – results

Henkell Freixenet has blamed a brace of temporary halts in sparkling wine sales for contributing to a 7% full-year sales decline.

By Andy Morton

  • 2020 sales down 7% to EUR1.2bn (US$1.44bn)
  • Western Europe sales drop 10% to EUR322.6m
  • Mionetto Prosecco brand down 3% to 26.6m bottles

Henkell Freixenet has blamed a brace of temporary halts in sparkling wine sales for contributing to a 7% full-year sales decline.

Releasing its calendar-2020 results today, the pan-European wine group said that from March to June, the consumption of sparkling wine and Champagne “came to a stop in many places”. A further slowdown occurred in the run-up to Christmas with Sekt, Cava and Champagne “particularly affected”.

Both periods aligned with large-scale lockdowns across Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere in the 12-month results, the Freixenet portfolio, which Henkell took control of in 2018, performed well despite its mainly sparkling range of wines. Sales were up 5% globally helped by the launch of a trio of Italian still wines last year.

Henkell’s biggest Prosecco brand, Mionetto, saw sales dip by 3% last year. The company blamed declines in the US and the loss of the Travel Retail channel.

On a regional basis, Henkell Freixenet’s ‘Western Europe’ region posted a 10% top-line decline in 2020, despite record sales in the UK. The closure of the European on-premise hampered performance in France, where one out of every four bottles is sold to restaurants. Italy and Spain, where one out of every two bottles is sold in restaurants, were also affected by lockdowns.

Combined sales for Germany, Austria and Switzerland climbed by 2% on the back of growth for the Fürst von Metternich brand.

Looking ahead, Henkell said it is “difficult to forecast developments” in 2021. “The coronavirus pandemic is currently causing radical changes,” the company continued. “Many countries have had several lockdowns, and they have severely impacted restaurant, hotel and catering sales, as well as duty-free business.”

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