French firm Pernod Ricard blames Brexit for hike in prices of spirits and wine

The distiller, whose brands include Martell cognac, Absolut vodka and Mumm champagne, announced its decision to up UK prices by an unspecified amount less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Theresa May kicked off formal Brexit negotiations.

Inflation in Britain is rising quickly in response to the sharp fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote, and jumped to 2.3 per cent in February.

The Bank of England predicts it will peak at 2.8 per cent in the first half of next year, above its two per cent target.

In slides released ahead of an investor presentation, Christian Porta, who manages Pernod Ricard’s business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, attempted to justify the price hike. 

He said: “Brexit is a reality, especially today. We have let our trading partners know we are raising prices. It is being negotiated.

“Brexit is leading to a strong pound depreciation, with inflation expected higher as a reaction. In that context, Pernod Ricard increased prices in March.”  

Mr Porta, however, refused to elaborate further on the scope of the price increases, which he said were “sensitive” commercial information.

Pernod Ricard – the world’s second-largest spirits group – previously reported UK sales had risen by seven per cent in the first half of its 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The drinks giant derives three per cent of its group sales from the UK; and imported brands account for 80 per cent of its sales in Britain.

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Daily Express :: World Feed

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