French drinks giant Pernod Ricard has denied that its wine division is up for sale, maintaining that the company is 'very happy' with its performance.
Industry commentators had suggested that Pernod might sellbrands including Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), following the company’s creation of a stand-alone premium wines division in July.
But, speaking at the company’s 2009/10 results announcement, managing director of finance Gilles Bogaert said Pernod was ‘very happy’ with the wine division, adding that it was ‘not for sale’.
Since acquiring the Absolut vodka brand in a deal worth more than €5bn in 2008, Pernod has been selling off brands including Wild Turkey Bourbon and Tia Maria coffee liqueur.
Bogaert said that programme of disposals was now complete, but did not entirely rule out future sell-offs.
Meanwhile, Jacob’s Creek sales fell 10% by volume in the year to 7.1m cases, with revenues down 5%.
However, Pernod Ricard said the declines were the inevitable result of efforts to ‘premiumise’ the brand.
Written by Richard Woodard