This has been an excellent year for the Group. The figures highlight the validity of our upmarket positioning and the excellence of our distribution network. Also, we are reaping the rewards of our investment in the sales force, either by strengthening our presence in strategic, mature or emerging markets or recruiting specialised competencies. Never has such imagination been put into the promotion of our brands.
Damien Lafaurie, Executive Vice President Global Markets
Asia Pacific, unequalled growth
Rémy Cointreau has had another record year in Asia. At the pinnacle of this success is China, where the growth of ultra-premium cognacs from the House of Rémy Martin has gained momentum. Systematic investment in the on-trade,
both modern and traditional, proved particularly astute. The Group’s brands are now essential to the most renowned establishments in the 70 largest cities in China. In trendy bars, Graffiti Parties organised to attract young affluent urban people have strengthened the affinity with prestigious names. A spectacular performance was also registered in South-East Asia. Not only is the dominance of Louis XIII now firmly rooted, but the entire range recorded growth. In India, where the Group now has a subsidiary, in Vietnam and, more recently, in Indonesia, our portfolio of brands appeals to a generation of new entrepreneurs seeking points of reference. Japan remains a market in transition where RémyCointreau has established its own distribution structure and consolidated the foundations which will enable it to leverage its presence when the market recovers.
The americas, a development taking full advantage of recovery
Far from abandoning the US market during the crisis, the Group invested in this market in anticipation of a recovery. The decision to maintain premium positioning in the US proved to be the right one. The upmarket segment has weathered the economic downturn much better than cheaper spirits. The recovery was clear from 2011 onwards and all Rémy Cointreau brands have fully benefited from it. Numerous mobile consumer educational programmes have been deployed, contributing to a better appreciation of the excellence of Rémy Martin cognacs. Cointreau continued to develop fun events, introducing people to the many ways in which this liqueur can be used in preparing cocktails.
In emerging markets, such as Mexico, a major increase in prices did not prevent Rémy Martin’s strong performance, particularly for VSOP cognac. Cointreau continued its outstanding growth in Brazil.
Europe, profitable markets in the West and Russia
With teams mobilised and motivated in all key countries in Europe, the Group achieved the feat of recording growth despite an economic climate which did nothing to boost consumer confidence, particularly in Southern Europe. In Russia, the combination of our resources with those of our exclusive distributor successfully supported the entire portfolio of brands, in particular RémyMartin and Metaxa. Metaxa honourably withstood the tumult that shook Greece by making the most of its roots. It also stood out in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia with good off-trade results. In the UK and Germany, the Group achieved outstanding double-digit growth for most of its brands. LouisXIII’s profile was raised in the most exclusive areas of London, promoting its splendour, and Coeur de Cognac proved to be the undisputed leader in its category.
Global Travel Retail, the windows on the world
For Rémy Cointreau, the Travel Retail market fulfils two strategic objectives, by providing exposure to its brands in areas frequented by affluent people and through the remarkable growth in its contribution to sales. This year, the brands recorded strong growth in this market, an encouraging sign of an economic recovery and the result of the synergies developed by the teams between duty-free points of sale and domestic markets. Whilst all the luxury brands seek the most prominent spots in upmarket airports, Rémy Cointreau has managed to strengthen its presence in the world’s most coveted windows. Louis XIII has succeeded in recreating a world apart around the majestic decanter, evoking magnificence and exception. Duty-free shops are an irreplaceable window for luxury brands and, once again this year, have proven to be the ideal area for testing and launching new products.
Major name partnerships
Amongst the brands for which RémyCointreau manages distribution, two names are particularly familiar: Piper-Heidsieck and CharlesHeidsieck champagnes, now owned by the EPI Group. The transition has been completed in the best possible manner and the Rémy Cointreau teams are pleased to continue to provide these two great brands with their expertise. In the US, the teams have strengthened the leadership of The Macallan Scotch whisky, a prestigious single malt, and successfully repositioned Brugal rum. Finally, we should highlight the exceptional results from the listing in Travel Retail of Russian Standard vodka, one of the flagship brands in Russia, for which we have great aspirations and which is now available everywhere in duty-free.