Pernod Ricard has reported a slight lift in sales for the first nine months of its current fiscal year.

The France-based wine and spirits company said today (30 April) that net sales between July and March rose by 3.9% on the corresponding period a year earlier, coming in at EUR5.09bn (US$7.91bn). Organic growth of 9.3% was tempered by a 1.6% negative impact from unit disposals, and a 3.6% negative foreign currency impact.

While Asia and the Rest of the World, delivered an 8.7% increase in value, the Americas struggled somewhat, slipping by 3.8%. In North America, the company said, the environment for Kahlua, Chivas Regal and Beefeater was described as "difficult". Europe, excluding France, saw sales rise by 5.4%, with France delivering growth of 6% in the nine-month period.

Net sales in the third quarter registered a slowdown, however, slipping by 1% year-on-year to EUR1.38bn. The organic growth of 7.1% was held back by negative foreign exchange and group structure impacts of 6.2% and 1.7% respectively.

The company warned that the negative currency impact at current exchange rates should be between EUR100m and EUR110m on full-year operating profit.

"The dynamism noted in the third quarter of 2007/08 is in line with our expectations and again reflects the quality of our brands portfolio and the strength of our distribution network," said Pernod's chairman and CEO, Patrick Ricard. "Sales for the first nine months of the 2007/08 financial year enable us to confirm our 2007/08 full-year guidance for growth in operating profit from ordinary activities, on a like-for-like basis of at least +12%."