Beam Suntory has reported that its results for the first half of 2021 were up 12%, reflecting a stronger than expected rebound in key markets and the performance of its premium brands.
International region sales grew 32%, reflecting what the company described as “robust double-digit growth” in markets including Germany, UK, Spain, Russia, Australia, India and Global Travel Retail.
First-half 2021 sales were 8% above the first half of 2019, the comparable pre-pandemic period.
“I’m very proud of the work our teams have done to secure our supply chain, protect our people, meet consumer needs, and anticipate long-term trends throughout the pandemic, and I believe our results reflect that,” said Beam Suntory President & CEO Albert Baladi. “With a focus on premiumizing our business, accelerating key growth platforms, becoming a truly purpose-driven company and supporting our people, we have been able to meet consumers where they are, and do good for all of our stakeholders.”
Maker’s Mark and Basil Hayden bourbon, Courvoisier cognac, Hibiki Japanese whisky, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky, Roku gin, and Hornitos tequila grew at double-digit rates for the first half. Sales of On the Rocks premium cocktails increased four-fold.
Beam Suntory said it “fuelled double-digit growth of ready-to-drink beverages through the launch of innovative new products”. It noted the “favourable performance” of cult Japanese RTD -196℃ – which recently launched in Australia – and Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour.
The company announced a US-based partnership with Boston Beer Co in July to further build strength in this market segment.
However, sales volume of the beer business decreased 8% year on year to 27.71 million cases as restraint from going out due to the spread of COVID-19 primarily impacted on-premise consumption. The company’s beer category drinks, excluding
non-alcoholic beer, fell 11% year on year to 23.86 million cases.