Goldman Sachs has downgraded Pernod Ricard shares to "sell" from "neutral" and reduced the price target to EUR55 from EUR72, according to market sources.

Goldman Sachs said that a "deteriorating consumer outlook" in key markets such as the US, UK, Spain, Italy and France is increasing the risk of more "subdued" spirits sales in the short term.

It said, however, that the trend is likely to take a pause soon and that as a result of Pernod's recent V&S acquisition, it has added the stock to its "conviction sell" list.

Ahead of Pernod's full-year results, the Sachs said it expects "robust figures" and an increase in organic operating profit of 13% year-on-year.

Last week just-drinks reported that the European Commission has delayed its decision on Pernod acquisition of Vin & Sprit.

A spokesperson for the Commission said that the deadline for a ruling has been put back by ten working days to 17 July. A decision will be made "no later than" the new due date, a spokesperson said.