US Spirits Nielsen Data Sales growth remains solid in February

March 18, 2013
US spirits Nielsen data shows sales up +5.1% in four weeks to 2 March

Lapping a challenging +3.7% comp, US spirits volumes (ex Washington) grew 2.1% y/y (above the +1.9% last 12 week trend y/y). Price/mix grew +3.0% y/y (in line with the last 12 week trend), implying +5.1% sales growth y/y (similar to 12 and 52 weeks y/y). The % of volume sold on promo is down -280bps y/y in the last month (-230bps last 12 weeks), led by Pernod (-530bps) and Diageo (-480bps).

US Spirits trend remains solid, but offers limited upside to our forecasts

US Spirits recovery remains solid, but we see limited scope for growth upgrades relative to our forecasts. Diageo and Pernod have stronger price/mix than the market, with both cutting back significantly on promotions. We estimate 2013 US spirits volume and value growth of 2.0% and 4.5% y/y.