United Spirits expects upcoming elections to dampen spirits of liquor companies

United Spirits, the country’s biggest liquor maker, has flagged concerns about India’s general elections disrupting sales in the next quarter though several others felt sales might not be impacted. General elections are scheduled to be held during April and May when sale and consumption of liquor is banned on and around voting days. The Diageo-controlled maker of McDowell’s and Signature whiskey said it expects the upcoming general elections to have an impact on their sales during the next quarter.

Rival Pernod Ricard, however, said it is confident of delivering low double-digit growth between January and June 2019. “Elections are going to happen but we don’t see that as a threat,” Hélène de Tissot, executive vice-president — finance, Pernod Ricard, told analysts last week.

While the increase in dry days during the election is not new, they will coincide with the label registration cycle this time, something that can directly impact operations and supply chain.

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