Drinks company Beam Suntory has said that its global net sales for the full-year 2020 were flat, as a return to growth in the second half of the year offset lower sales in the first half.
The company stated, "Full-year sales grew 4% in the United States, as restaurant and bar activity improved in the second half and spirits continued to gain share from beer and wine. Sales were essentially flat in Japan, up at a single-digit rate in the UK and Russia, up high-single digits in Australia and Canada, and up double digits in Germany and South Korea. The impact of the pandemic led to lower sales in markets including Spain, India, China, South Africa and the global travel retail channel.
"Global sales for Jim Beam grew to surpass 11 million nine litre equivalent cases for the first time, extending the brand's leadership as the world's number one bourbon whiskey. Reflecting sustained consumer demand for premium brands, sales for Basil Hayden's bourbon, Hornitos tequila, Toki whisky and Roku gin increased at double-digit rates. Sales were also exceptionally strong for Japanese ready-to-drink products and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails (acquired in September 2020), as consumer demand for convenience, refreshment and quality cocktails expanded."
President & CEO Statement
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Beam Suntory president & CEO Albert Baladi stated, "As we expected, consumer demand increased in the second half of 2020, even as the global pandemic continued to impact markets around the world. I couldn't be more proud of how our people adapted to confront the challenges of 2020 - from our front line distillery workers to our sales teams, from our brand builders to every company function. As a result, we were able to meet consumers digitally in the emerging 'home premise' to support at-home cocktail-making and satisfy their expectations for convenience through increased investments in e-commerce and ready-to-drink products. At the same time, we supported our on-trade partners with innovations like cocktails to go, and guided by our vision of 'Growing for Good', we provided vital assistance to hard-hit restaurant and bar workers in markets around the world.
"Looking ahead, the pace of recovery from the ongoing pandemic remains uncertain. In this environment, we expect to drive continued improvement in sales as we benefit from the strategic investments we made in 2020, the exciting brand plans we have in place, and our commitment to delivering quality to consumers at every step of the value chain up to the moment of consumption."
Baladi also noted that Beam Suntory made substantial progress with reducing its environmental impacts in 2020, and will soon announce a new global sustainability strategy featuring ambitious targets focussed on making a positive difference for nature, consumers and communities.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.