Asia and the US drive 4% organic growth for Pernod Ricard

Jo Gilbert

Alexandre Ricard, chief executive officer and chairman of the board

French spirits group Pernod Ricard has beaten analysts’ expectations for its half year results, boosted by sales Irish whiskey in the US and overall sales in China.

For the six months to December, organic sales rose 4% to £1.28bn ahead of the forecasted £1.25bn.

Despite facing an “uncertain environment” in 2017 chief executive Alexandre Ricard hailed “strong” group sales reaching £4.31 billion, an organic rise of 4%, while profit from recurring operations reached £1.28 billion.

The US emerged as one of the main markets for growth markets, with sales of Irish whiskey Jameson helping to achieve 6% sales growth during H1 17.

There was a return to sales growth in Asia.

Sales increased 4% in China and 5% in Asia overall, although growth slowed in India as a result of the government having demonetised high-value bank notes.

The company also flagged improving trends in travel retail and in Russia as well as improved sales of Absolut, Martell and Chivas.

He said: “Our half-year results are strong, delivering a continued performance improvement. Our strategy remains consistent and is driving results.

For full year FY 17, in an uncertain environment, we plan to continue improving our business performance year-on-year vs. FY 16.”

Looking ahead, he added that the group expects to deliver organic growth in profit from recurring operations in line with the guidance of +2% to +4%.

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