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Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux sign an unprecedented Data Technical Alliance

Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux, recently launched an innovative digital partnership in data management through the roll-out of a solution called Data Portal. This solution enables a company to centralise, in a single point, all the data from its different entities around the world, facilitating their use and sharing. The Data Portal is aligned with the transformation objectives of both Groups, who have placed data at the heart of their business and growth strategy.

The tool has been developed since 2015 by the Pernod Ricard IT Data Center of Excellence team, which is already composed of 20 people and constantly growing. The Data Portal, a particularly easy-to-use and intuitive solution, is a true accelerator for digital transformation. Almost 7,000 Pernod Ricard employees find everyday information about sales or key figures for the development of their commercial strategies on it. Following initial discussions which started in 2020, the two Groups have decided to opt for an alliance between non-competitive partners, in order to enhance the Data Portal with their respective experience, co-developing technical ecosystems and benefitting from the cost synergies generated by combining their skills. This technology, which does not involve the exchange of data between the two companies, is conceded for free by Pernod Ricard, without any conditions or limitation of use. Each company then manages its data in line with legal data management requirements.

In a process of continual improvement, the collaborative and agile alliance between Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux will help accelerate the development of new data-related features and technologies and could then be opened up to other non-competitive companies, within the same legal framework and co-construction model. The project monitoring will be managed by Neoxia, a trusted third party, who will continue to ensure the platform’s developments and integration in line with the roadmap co-defined by Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux.

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman & CEO at Pernod Ricard, notes that, “The Data Portal is a wonderful asset for our Group. This solution, developed by our Data Center of Excellence, is a key tool for our growth mindset untitled the “Conviviality Platform” in which data is a major issue. The Data Portal facilitates our teams’ work in order to provide each of our markets with the right product, at the right time, at the right price, to the right consumer. We’re delighted to share this innovation with JCDecaux and to benefit from each other’s experience.”

Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and co-CEO of JCDecaux, adds, “As a company that believes in the power of collaboration to grow business, we are delighted to enter this technological alliance with Pernod Ricard that is focussed on data management. Underlining the strength of our joint approach to digital innovation, JCDecaux will play an active role in the development of the Data Portal, enhancing it with new features. Designed via an open innovation approach, this solution will help us achieve our data strategy and fulfil our objective of developing shared data management platforms within JCDecaux. This will in turn allow business units to capitalise upon this innovation for the benefit of our customers and partners, media agencies, advertisers and local authorities.”   

Chivas Brothers appoints new Chief Executive

Dumbarton-based distiller Chivas Brothers has a new Chief Executive and Chairman. Chivas Brothers which is part of the Pernod Ricard drinks empire, has recently appointed Jean-Etienne Gourgues as its new chief. Mr Gourgues replaces Jean-Christophe Coutures, who left the company in July after three years in the role. Mr Gourgues was most recently managing director of Pernod Ricard China.

The company said in a statement: “Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, can confirm the appointment of Jean-Etienne Gourgues as chairman and CEO from July 1, 2021.

“Jean-Etienne joined Chivas Brothers from Pernod Ricard China, where he served as managing director. Previously, he was president and CEO of Pernod Ricard Japan, and he has also held senior positions at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët and Allied Domecq.“Jean-Etienne succeeded Jean-Christophe Coutures who will be returning to France after serving as Chivas Brothers Chairman and CEO for three years.“Jean-Etienne will be part of Pernod Ricard’s executive committee and will be based at Chivas Brothers London HQ, after relocating from Shanghai.”

Mr Coutures held senior roles with Pernod in Asia, Australia and Ireland before succeeding Laurent Lacassagne as chief executive of Chivas Brothers in February 2018. He arrived as Chivas was preparing to switch its Scottish bottling operation from Paisley to Dumbarton.

Pernod Ricard posts encouraging results than expected

The world’s second biggest alcobev manufacturer, Pernod Ricard posted its results recently and they seemed more encouraging than expected. The Q1 FY21 marked and improvement versus the Q4 FY20. The results were encouraging thanks to partial on-trade reopening and continued brand resilience in off-trade as India continues to be a resilient market for the company.

The total sales for the first quarter of FY21 totaled €2,236 million, which included an organic decline of -6% due to off-trade channel remaining resilient in the USA and Europe. Although there was a partial on-trade reopening, the report suggests that the channel is still disrupted with Travel Retail showcasing significant decline.

Results in India

Closer to India, which is one of the key markets for the manufacturer, continues to be in a double-digit decline. The growth in India revenues from its India operations grew only 6% in the year ended March 2020 against 27% jump a year earlier. The company recorded gross sales of Rs 21,424 crore in India in the year-ended March. However it recorded a 24% jump in its net profit for the year at Rs 1,612 crore as it focused more on premium brands. This was more than double of its larger rival United Spirits’ profit of Rs 705 crore during the year. Currently, India accounts for 11% of the manufacturers global sales. The company that follows a July-June fiscal globally, said that the Indian business declined 11% in the year ended June 2020 with heavy impact due to the pandemic. Alexandre Ricard, Chairman, Pernod Ricard informed investors last month that the fact that the business fell only 11% in the FY20 ‘despite the very strict lockdown disrupting the fourth quarter’ showed India’s resilience as a market. “We consolidated our leadership position with our market share still above 45%, and in fact, still growing slightly,” he added.

Results by Geography

With the festive season in the offing the results were strong in markets like USA and China, with strong shipments auguring well for the company. There was good resilience in the markets of Europe as well thanks to Off-Trade and ‘staycation’ over the summer. There was also strong dynamism in the UK and Germany with France nearing stability. However the markets of Spain and Russia showed decline.

By category, Sales were driven by

International Brands declined by -10% with significant declines for Martell, Chivas and Ballantine’s, primarily due to the restrictions in Travel Retail. But Malibu and The Glenlivet displayed strong growth with Jameson showcasing resilience. Local Brands saw a decline of -6%, with decline of Seagram’s Indian whiskies. But there was double-digit growth of Kahlua, Passport, Ramazzotti and Wiser’s. Specialty Brands saw an increase of +30%, thanks in particular to Lillet, Malfy, Aberlour, Avion, Altos and Monkey 47. Wines registered a growth of +9%, driven by double-digit growth of Campo Viejo and Brancott Estate with Jacob’s Creek growing by +8%. The overall reported sales declined by -10% due to unfavourable FX impacts, mainly from US Dollar and emerging market currencies. The Q2 is expected to still be strongly impacted by Covid-19, but Sales to return to growth in H2. Alexandre Ricard added that for FY21, “we expect continued resilience of our business in an uncertain and disrupted environment. I would like to take this opportunity to praise our teams, whose engagement and performance are exemplary

in these very challenging times. We will continue to implement our strategy, in particular accelerating our digital transformation. We will tightly manage costs while maintaining the agility to reinvest to adjust to market opportunities.”