The Millionaires' Club 2016: Slow boat to China

27 June, 2016

“It is driven by travel retail-exclusive blends such as the Millésime 1972 – showcased in Hong Kong, Taoyuan, Changi and Kuala Lumpur international airports – and innovative pop up activations such as the ones in Hong Kong or Charles de Gaulle to celebrate Martell Tricentenaire.”

And in the short-term? “While the US is already dynamic with Martell growing in high double digits, it is too early to say when the cognac category will accelerate in China. Currently, Martell volume depletions are in slight growth in China, but value depletions remain slightly negative due to mix.”

De Belenet certainly takes the cautious stance and isn’t going to be joining other cognac brands that insist recovery is here to stay. When asked if forecasts of a 15% hike in global cognac and brandy sales was cause for celebration and in line with Pernod figures, he says: “As our focus is on premium, we do not look at brandy and cognac together. Regarding cognac, we remain confident in the long-term potential of Martell and its development as a truly international brand.”

For Pernod and De Belenet the anti-corruption wounds are still fresh and it’s very much about the long term. When sales can plummet 27% in one year the need for caution is understandable.

However, with the US and China as a focus there is hope.

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