Pernod Ricard's managing director has warned that an economic slowdown across Western Europe has begun to take its toll on wine and spirits markets.

Market slowdowns have occured in the UK, Spain and France, with the latter also hit by the introduction of a smoking ban in bars and cafes at the beginning of the year, Pierre Pringuet said in an interview published in France's La Tribune newspaper today (29 October).

His comments, which are published 24 hours prior to Pernod's first quarter results, were confirmed to just-drinks by a company spokesperson.

He added that Pringuet was referring to the general market situation in Europe, not specifically to Pernod sales, however.

Pringuet also said that Pernod would not offload non-core spirits brands at bargain prices during the financial crisis. He said in July that Pernod would look to sell several "peripheral" brands, following its purchase of Vin & Sprit, in addition to the ones it  must sell to satisfy competition authorities.

Next month, Pringuet will move up to assume the CEO position at Pernod, when Patrick Ricard retires from the position. Ricard will continue in the chairman role he currently holds, however.