Pernod Ricard has signed fresh distribution deals for its drinks brands in the US with Southern Wine & Spirits of America and Republic National Distributing Company.

Under the deal, Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) will distribute Pernod's entire portfolio of premium spirits and wine, including recently acquired Absolut vodka, in more than 20 states, including New York and California.

Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) will be the leading distributor/broker for Pernod Ricard brands in Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Washington DC, Alabama and Mississippi.

Securing the right distribution network in the US is likely to be crucial in a drinks company's ability to withstand the country's economic problems.

Pernod last year ended the US distribution contract for Absolut held by Fortune Brands, which originally signed the deal with Absolut's previous owner, Sweden's Vin & Sprit.

Pernod Ricard US CEO and chairman Paul Duffy said he saw "significant opportunities for mutual growth" by aligning Absolut with SWS and RNDC.