Despite a drop in Spain, sales of Havana Club rum worldwide rebounded 10 percent to 3.8 million cases during the 2010-11 financial year, Pernod Ricard SA said in its annual report.
Sales of the premium rum, which is produced at a plant in San Jos√© de las Lajas just south of Havana, had dropped 3 percent in 2009-10, the first decline after back-to-back double-digit growth rates since 1993.
The French liquor giant is a joint venture partner with state company CubaRon and in charge of marketing and distributing Havana Club worldwide.
Havana Club sales rose at double digits in 30 markets in 2010-11, including Canada (+24%) and Germany (+18%); sales also grew strongly in France, Chile and Cuba.
The Cuban-made rum is the No. 3 international¬†rum brand in the world and continues to rise, having climbed to No.¬†22 in 2010 in the latest Impact Premium¬†Spirits Ranking, according to Pernod Ricard.
In 2010, the company developed a global marketing campaign inspired by the city of Havana, tagged¬†‚ÄėNothing Compares to Havana.‚Äô Without even mentioning the rum brand, the advertisements simply highlight culture and life in the city.¬†Havana Club also added “Selecci√≥n de¬†Maestros” last year, a ultra-premium rum in a new high-price category.
Bacardi, the makers of the No. 1 rum worldwide with roots in pre-revolutionary Cuba, has been battling Pernod Ricard in courts worldwide over the use of the Havana Club brand. In March, a U.S. appeals court ruled against Pernod Ricard, stripping the company of its rights in the 35-year old trademark registration of Havana Club in the United States; the company said it will continue its fight in U.S. courts. Meanwhile, in February, the¬†Spanish Supreme Court confirmed, for the third time, that the¬†Havana Club brand belonged to the Pernod Ricard joint venture.¬†The brand had been abandoned for over¬†30 years after the Cuban revolution, and was redeveloped by the joint venture starting in 1993.