Message from the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

This strategy is a crucial asset. In this uncertain period, it has helped us to both gain precious time and to concentrate on the essentials: building a smarter, sharper organisation based on solid fundamentals, underpinned by our culture and our ethos of sharing and conviviality. In 2015, we embraced a new resolutely consumer-centric approach, and in 2017 we reorganised our segmentation by product category to adopt a strategy structured around moments of consumption, or « conviviality experiences ». These strategies have allowed us to successfully adapt to the constantly changing consumer landscape, a reality that the pandemic has only accelerated. Our latest annual results demonstrated the resilience of our business model and our agility in adapting quickly, confirming the merit of our approach even in the midst of the storm. Digital acceleration, marketing transformation, acquisition of "gem" brands, pooling of expertise: we will continue pursuing these strategies and more in the months and years to come.

Yet these results are equally due to two other key factors: the first is the outstanding dedication of our teams. Over the past months, they have played a decisive role, driven by their commitment to our values and their strong attachment to the company and to their craft. I was truly touched by the exceptional level of their engagement – it is thanks to them that Pernod Ricard was able to react to unprecedented disruption, by reinventing new ways of working and collaborating effectively together. This same involvement also spurred our employees around the world to put their energy into supporting the severely affected café, hotel and restaurant sector and our local communities: for example, by supplying millions of litres of pure alcohol and producing hand sanitiser. 

The second crucial factor is the support of our investors. Their belief in the success of our strategy to create long-term value is what allows us to build for the future and work with confidence, staying true to the course we have set, strengthened by the unity of purpose demonstrated by our Board of Directors, whom I wholeheartedly salute for their work during the crisis. From our employees to our directors, backed by our investors, we have an unbeatable team to face the challenges of the post-Covid world.

In fact, this crisis brought the focus back to what is essential, showing the relevance of our vision ‘Créateurs de convivialité’. More than ever, the pandemic has proved our vital need to be together,  to share meaningful moments with our loved ones. Physical distancing (and not social distancing, an expression I utterly reject) is contrary to human nature. Yet we must comply. For the time being at least,  we must wear masks and respect safe physical distancing in order to protect our communities.  Our goal is to work every day to create the conditions that allow the moments of conviviality so vital to humanity to once again be possible in the most optimal way, beginning with the responsible consumption of our products. Equally, this crisis can be seen as a tremendous opportunity to invent innovative ways of interacting and it’s been good to see new moments of conviviality appear in the shape of virtual happy hours or live stream events. Nonetheless, we will never lose sight of the fact that one day we will certainly be meeting again in our favourite bars and restaurants to celebrate our reconnection in person.  It’s what we do. It's our purpose. It's our nature.