“2019/2020 was a singular year in more than one respect… like so many years have been for the Rémy Cointreau Group and its Houses. It is in these unprecedented moments that the Group knows how to stay calm and agile: that is why we are confident that we can emerge from this crisis even stronger, and why we are looking toward the future with ambition – the ambition to become the leader in exceptional spirits.
The 2019/2020 environment was particularly complex worldwide for the Group, as a global economic downturn combined with the threat of import tariffs in the United States and, of course, this unprecedented health crisis, which knocked the wind out of global air traffic and on-premise consumption. For the Group, the major event was the change in its governance, with the departure of Valérie Chapoulaud Floquet and the arrival of Éric Vallat as Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Cointreau.
In spite of this context, our sales held steady at above €1 billion, our profitability remained high at 21.0%, and some of our non-financial targets, such as sustainable agriculture, were met well ahead of schedule. Lastly, we are very proud of the “B-Corp” certification of our Bruichladdich Distillery, which recognises its social and environmental performance, alongside some 3,000 companies worldwide. It is important to us that our growth is responsible and continues to be based on the principles and values promoted by the Global Compact. Rémy Cointreau is therefore launching its “2025 Sustainable Exception” plan, with three key focus areas: sustainable agriculture, reduced carbon emissions, and ecodesign.
I would like to take a moment here to thank all of our employees for their remarkable solidarity, which they have expressed in numerous initiatives to help each other, on every continent , in recent months. I’d like to say how much we admire their responsiveness – their fighting spirit, even – and the community spirit they have demonstrated through their voluntary commitments in their local areas. Finally, I want to recognise the financial efforts made and shared by everyone in this Group – from employees to members of the Board of Directors – to adapt our cost structure in this context of pressure on sales. Rémy Cointreau’s conduct stems from ethics that we are proud to share with our shareholders. I thank them for their confidence and loyalty.
“This highly unusual year revealed the Group’s solidity, the commitment of our teams, and the structural integrity of our future-oriented brands.”
This year’s headwinds allowed us to become more agile and to instill our values (“Terroirs, People, Time and Exception”) with even more meaning. I commend everyone’s commitment, which made it possible to promptly reduce our costs and maintain our teams around the world without relying on government subsidies. Because the Rémy Cointreau men and women are our greatest asset, and the time to prepare for the future is now.
I see four lines of development to increase the Group’s profitability in the next 1 0 years. Firstly, setting goals for each brand in our portfolio, and thereby allocating our investment in a more targeted and effective manner to maximise the Group’s growth and profitability. The second line consists of reaching out to our clients to find out more about them and engage in direct dialogue with them where possible. One of our goals is to achieve 20% of our revenue through e-commerce within 10 years. Thirdly, the Liqueurs and Spirits division includes a few promising gems with great growth potential, that we will increasingly focus on.
All of this while implementing a responsible growth plan that spans more than the environment. That plan is the fourth driver I would like to mention, because the values we uphold will play an increasingly important role in motivating our teams and clients around the world. But responsible growth reaches beyond the environment; it means growth that promotes diversity and inclusion. This also applies to our own teams. A committee has been created for this purpose, and will recommend practical measures in the next few months.
The year 2020/2021 will also be marked by Covid. What inspires my confidence? The commitment of our teams, our consistent and complementary brand portfolio (with some brands being 3 centuries old and others being 10-year-old startups), the quality and positioning of our spirits, and lastly, the authenticity of our values. Our structure is solid, and we have a roadmap to boot!
The medium-term Rémy Cointreau strategy is clear: To become the world leader in exceptional spirits.
Each brand has a specific task within the group portfolio, and must adapt its business model to this particular goal in terms of product, distribution and communications. Growth drivers vary among the brands, but all seek to reinforce the emotional bond with their customers. To achieve this, we must develop a direct, personal link through increased media and digital investment, educate during private events, led by our brand ambassadors, and foster loyalty through the development of specific schemes and CRM.
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