By Joshua Kirby 
 

Pernod Ricard SA said Thursday that sales fell organically by 6% during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as travel retail continued to be hit by the pandemic, but that it expects a return to growth in the second half.

The French drinks maker posted sales of 2.24 billion euros ($2.66 billion), down from EUR2.48 billion in the same period the previous year but better than expectations of EUR2.06 billion, according to a FactSet consensus estimate based on four analysts' forecasts.

The steepest sales decline of 10% was seen in the group's strategic international brands division, which includes Martell cognac and Chivas, Jameson and Ballantine's whiskies. The group's specialty brands division, meanwhile posted sales growth of 30%.

Travel retail was still in "very significant decline" in the quarter, Pernod Ricard said. The second quarter is likely to still suffer from the pandemic but sales should return to growth in the second half of fiscal 2021, the company added.

"Our first quarter was encouraging," said Alexandre Ricard, Pernod Ricard's chairman and chief executive. "Sales were still in decline, but the business has recovered significantly versus the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, thanks to the partial reopening of on-trade and the strong resilience of our brands in off-trade."

 

Write to Joshua Kirby at joshua.kirby@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2020 02:16 ET (06:16 GMT)

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