Remy Cointreau expects 10% full-year profit boost after strong Q4
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) - Remy Cointreau RCOP.PA said it expected organic growth of around 10% in operating profit in the 2020/21 fiscal year, after strong demand in the United States and China for its premium cognac lifted fourth quarter sales by 15.1%.
The maker of Remy Martin cognac and Cointreau liqueur also predicted a strong start to 2021/22, citing a favourable comparison, shipment phasing benefits and more buoyant consumer trends in the United States.
"In a still uncertain public health, economic and geopolitical environment, Remy Cointreau remains confident of its ability to emerge stronger from the COVID-crisis," the group said in a statement
The 10% profit growth guidance -- which would mark a rebound from a 22% fall in group profit in the full year 2019/20 -- exceeds current analysts'expectations of a 7.6% profit rise.
It also echoes an upbeat profit forecast by larger rival Pernod Ricard PEP.PA on Thursday.
'EXCELLENT' CHINESE NEW YEAR
Sales for the three months to March 31 came in at 229.4 million euros ($275.9 million), marking a like-for-like rise of 15.1%, which compared with analysts' expectations for 15.9%.
Cognac sales alone stood at 162.5 million euros - a like-for-like rise of 18.2%, which notably reflected an "excellent" performance during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Cognac demand in the United States remained strong, boosted by at-home consumption, albeit somewhat moderated by the group's previously announced decision to manage its strategic inventories.
Foreign exchange and the effects of acquisitions and divestments would impact operating profit in full-year 2020/21 by 5 million euros and 2 million euros respectively, Remy Cointreau said.
Remy Cointreau's fiscal year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31.
($1 = 0.8315 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Jane Merriman)
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