Pernod toasts China as sales leap

Pernod toasts China as sales leap

Pernod Ricard has raised its profits guidance after strong demand for Cognac in Asia and a pick-up in the Americas helped the firm's sales to rebound in its fiscal third quarter.

Like-for-like sales for the three months to the end of March rose by 16% on the same period of last year, reaching EUR1.54bn (US$2bn), Pernod said today (29 April).

Strong demand for Martell Cognac in Asia, as well as sales rises for Jameson whiskey and Absolut vodka, helped the French drinks giant to recover from a disappointing third quarter of the previous year, when like-for-like sales sank by 12% to EUR1.34bn.

The rebounding performance also enabled Pernod to offset a sluggish start to its fiscal year, pushing nine-month net sales to broadly level with the same period of the previous year at EUR5.5bn.

"We are increasing our guidance for our profits from recurring operations for the full 2009/10 financial year," said Pernod CEO Pierre Pringuet. "We now target organic growth of around 3%, compared to a range of 1% to 3% previously."

"We confirm our intention to step up advertising and promotion expenditure on strategic brands and markets," he added.

For the full announcement, click here.