Havana Club sales rebound in 2010-11

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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 José 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.

The Havana Club team


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