On 31st March, Group Pernod Ricard turnover, excluding duty and taxes, was E917,781,000, equivalent to E6,020,251,000 FF (+ 27.4%). On an organic growth basis, and excluding the currency effect, the internal growth exceeded 7.2% (average for financial year 99 was 6.2%).

In Europe (outside of France), the increase was 37%, equivalent to 142.8m. The full consolidation into the accounts of Agros, the acquisition of which was finalised at the end of 1999, along with the acquisiton of other distribution subsidiaries, served to reinforce the position of the Group in Europe. Taking into account these acquisitions, the actual rate of growth rose to 8.7%.

In the rest of the world, organic growth rate was 13.1% (and in the Wines and Spirits sector was 15.8%).

In line with the Group's strategy, it was the Wines and Spirits sector, with a 15.5% growth in the turnover, which was the principal vector for growth. The Group's principal brands continued to perform extremely well, in particular Havana Club, Clan Campbell, Wild Turkey, Ramazotti and Jacob's Creek. The Polish vodkas Wyborowa and Zubrowka enjoyed an excellent launch in the Pernod Ricard network, especially Zubrowka in France.

The processed fruit sector (fruit drinks and other products) recorded an increase of 35.3% (with organic growth of 4.6%). This is due to the integration of Agros and to the increasingly dynamic fruit processing industry, especially in fast developing markets (such as Australia, Mexico, Argentina and Korea), and to the performance of fruit drinks in France.

The Distribution business experienced an increase in turnover of 34.5%, which was partially due to the 1999 acquisitions. Furthermore, there was a sustained increase in organic growth +7.2%.

The Group confirmed its intention to merge Orangina and Pampryl, thus becoming one of the largest players in non-alcoholic drinks in France, with a sales force in excess of 300. The new company will be the "orange drinks leader" and will have one of the most powerful sales structures in the sector with a portfolio of diverse and dynamic brands (Orangina, Pampryl, Champomy, Brut de Pomme, Ricqles, etc.)

Orangina has just signed a distribution agreement with a Moroccan bottling plant, and establishing the brand internationally should benefit the European development of the other brands of the new company, in particular Champomy and Pampryl.