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Rémy Wants To Fix US Inventory Problems By Year-End, Profits Fall

By Donna Ahern
Rémy Wants To Fix US Inventory Problems By Year-End, Profits Fall

Rémy Cointreau's CEO recently said that he aimed to end the year with a "sound" level of stock in the United States but it was unclear when these would start to move, after reporting a 43% fall in first-half operating profit.

High levels of unsold inventories in Rémy's key market have become a key issue for watchers of the French spirits group, which makesRemy Martin cognac and Cointreau liqueur, after they contributed to a cut in full-year guidance in October.

Americas, led by the United States, account for about half of the group's sales and the US market is critical for its overall performance.

US Sales 

The company's US sales have fallen as retailers and wholesalers try to clear their elevated inventories following a post-pandemic boom for Rémy.


That was exacerbated by a squeeze on their finances that left them less willing to hold Remy's slower-moving brands, and heavy discounting from competitors.

Chief executive Eric Vallat told journalists the group still had around five months' worth of stock in the US market, and while demand was improving it was unclear when sales from wholesalers to retailers would pick back up.

"The goal is to end the year with sound stocks," he said, adding this would mean around three or four months' worth.

Remy's shares fell just over 1% at market open but recovered to trade around 3% higher by 0815 GMT.

The group's operating profit for the six months to 30 September fell 43% to €169.1 million, in line with analyst expectations in a company-compiled poll.


First-Half Sales

It already reported a 22.2% drop in first-half sales. Out of a €100 million cost-cutting plan announced in October, it had so far achieved €25 million, the group noted.

Charles de Riedmatten, fund manager at Myria AM, a Rémy investor, said this was low and Rémy could struggle to control its marketing costs.

"For H2, I will be really cautious," he said, adding the US market in particular remains difficult and its not clear when it will improve.

Rémy reiterated its full-year forecast, saying the US would not see growth in sales before the next financial year.


Read More: Rémy Cointreau Confident On H2 Rebound After Weak Start To Year

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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