Between January 2015 and December 2015, the group “benefited” from a full year of results from the integrated Beam Inc business. In 2014, Japan’s Suntory Holdings took over US firm Beam Inc for US$16bn, creating the world’s third biggest drinks group, Beam Suntory.
The group’s Bourbon brands Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s, as well as Scotch whisky Laphroaig, achieved double-digit growth in the Americas last year.
Meanwhile, Beam Suntory’s Bourbon portfolio, led by Jim Beam, “gained momentum” in the US in the fourth quarter, boosted by the launch of flavoured variant Jim Beam Apple. Hornitos Tequila and Midori melon-flavoured liqueur also witnessed “strong growth” in the region.
In its international markets, the group witnessed mid-single-digit sales growth with solid gains in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Australia.
Beam Suntory’s Japanese unit, Suntory Spirits Limited, saw 6% year-on-year sales growth, with “strong” performances for its whisky and RTD brands.
Whisky volumes grew 13%, driven by marketing efforts to promote Kakubin’s compatibility with food and new products such as Hibiki Japanese Harmony.
In Japan, volume sales of Jim Beam skyrocketed 62% following the “successful promotion” of the Citrus Highball as the brand’s signature serve in the country.
RTD beverages delivered 14% year-on-year volume growth, led by a 19% volume increase for -196°C Strong Zero.
Looking ahead to its 2016 full fiscal year, Beam Suntory said: “Beam Suntory Inc. aims to achieve further growth as the world’s No.3 premium spirits company and outperform its global market. To gain market share, Beam Suntory will continue to invest in the growth of its premium brands and in further strengthening its routes to market.”
In total, Suntory Holdings – parent group to Beam Suntory – increased sales by 15.1% in 2015 to 1.0261 trillion yen, with operating income growing 27% to 78.4 billion yen.