Pernod Ricard shareholders have voted to pay a dividend of € 1.80, plus a dividend tax credit of € 0.90 per share, giving an overall yield of € 2.70 at the company's AGM last week.

The AGM also ratified the appointment of a new non-executive director, Jean-Jacques Laffont, economist and university professor.

During the meeting chairman and CEO Patrick Ricard confirmed that the target for 2002 was to increase the Group's spirits and wine sales by 90% and to double operating profit from this business.

Overall this will result in earnings per share of € 6.40 (excluding extraordinary items and goodwill amortisation and after allowing for the dilution effect of the convertible bond).

Patrick Ricard said: "This year debt reduction is our main objective, and at this stage we are well ahead of schedule to achieve this target".