Beam Suntory posts strong post-merger 2015 results
Reported sales at Beam Suntory grew 23% in 2015, the first year of full results after Suntory’s £9.3 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014.
Organic sales were mid-single digit, the group said.
Net sales for group’s alcoholic beverages segment were around £6.3 billion, up 15%, with operating income growing 27% to £481 million.
Brands in the Beam Suntory portfolio, which is dominated by whisky and bourbon, include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Hakusha, Yamazaki, Laphroaig, Teacher’s and Courvoisier.
Among these, Maker’s Mark bourbon delivered strong volume growth, while Jim Beam gained momentum in the US in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to the introduction of Jim Beam Apple.
Other premium brands also posted double-digit growth, including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Laphroaig.
Hornitos tequila and Midori liqueur also had strong years.
Maker’s Mark, Laphroaig, and Canadian Club all reported significant volume growth across Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Australia.
In Japan, the business grew sales by 6% on the back of growth in whisky and RTD products.
Suntory’s promotion of the food-matching possibilities for Kakubin whisky drove its volumes up 14%, against overall volume growth of 13% in the whisky portfolio.
Volume of Jim Beam leapt 62% in Japan, as the bourbon category matures.
Suntory Beer Limited managed 1% growth, against a market contracting by 1% overall.
Beer volumes were up 5%.
Suntory Wine International Limited grew sales volumes by 4% year-on-year, with anti-oxidant-free brand Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine surging 19%.
Beam Suntory is the third largest drinks group in the world, after Diageo and Pernod Ricard, a position it intends to consolidate in the coming year.
It plans continued investment in its premium brands and further strengthening of its routes to market.
Suntory Wine International Limited will continue to focus on Japanese wines made from 100% domestically-produced grapes and the Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine brand.
Last year, Beam Suntory sold its Jerez-based brandy and Sherry operations to Philippine-based brandy business Emperador for £193 million.
The deal included the Fundador, Harveys, Terry and Tres Cepas brands, as well as production facilities in Jerez and Tomelloso, Spain.