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FRANCE: Absolut drives sales for Pernod Ricard in Q1

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Pernod Ricard has posted a healthy lift in sales in its first quarter, driven by the acquisition of Vin & Sprit in the period.

The France-based wine and spirits company, which completed the purchase of the owner of Absolut vodka in July, said today that sales in the three months to the end of September rose by 13% on the corresponding period a year earlier, totalling EUR1.76bn (US$2.30bn).

In organic terms, stripping out the contribution from Vin & Sprit, sales still rose, by 7% - the spirits side of the company posting 6% growth, with wines up 8% in value terms. In volume total sales on an organic basis were up by 2%.

All four of Pernod's regions delivered growth in the quarter, driven by the Americas, with a climb of 9%. Europe was up by 7%, while Asia/Rest of the World climbed by 7%. The company's home market of France inched up 1% in value terms.

Champagne brand Perrier Jouet led the field, with value growth of 29% for the quarter, followed by The Glenlivet Scotch whisky, which climbed by 27%. Liqueur brand Kahlua struggled in the period, however, with sales down by 15%. Rum brand Malibu was also a poor performer, down by 9%.

The company confirmed its full-year guidance for 2008/2009, of double digit growth in net profit from recurring operations, and organic growth of about 8% for profits.


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