PARIS Oct 17 An easing of limits on how much
rum Americans can bring back from Cuba for personal use brings
Pernod Ricard a step closer to being allowed to export
its Cuban-made rum directly to U.S. consumers.
Until now American visitors to the island could only take
back up to $100 worth of alcohol and cigars. But measures
announced by the U.S. government on Friday will ease trade,
travel and financial restrictions with Cuba that have been in
place for decades.
Pernod Ricard has been waiting for a long time to be allowed
to sell its Cuban-made rum in the United States and will be able
to do so only when Washington's economic embargo is lifted.
"Pernod Ricard is delighted to learn that the $100
restriction is being lifted and that U.S citizens and travellers
to the U.S will be able to bring back ... Havana Club, to the
U.S. for personal use from anywhere in the world," the group
said in an e-mail to Reuters.
Pernod Ricard, which has been making Cuban rum in a joint
venture with the Cuban government since the 1990s, sells around
50 million bottles, or 4 million cases per year, mostly for
exports. It has said the U.S. market could potentially bring its
Cuban rum extra sales of 20 million bottles per year.
Jefferies investment analysts said in a note: "The changes
do not allow for the commercial importation of Cuban rum or
cigars, just yet. However a further lifting of sanctions could
open the door for Cuban rum to be imported into the U.S for
The brokerage, which has a "buy" rating on the stock, said:
"For Pernod, we estimate that the Cuban rum opportunity could be
worth as much as 8 euros per share," referring to the impact of
commercial exports if the U.S. were to allow them.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon. Editing by Jane Merriman)