Pernod Ricard posts 2.4% rise in quarterly sales

French drinks group Pernod Ricard reported on Thursday a 2.4 percent sales increase in the third quarter of its 2012/13 financial year and confirmed its target for a rise in full-year operating profit of almost six percent.

Pernod, which owns a wide range of brands including The Glenlivet, Jameson, Chivas and Ballantine's whiskies and Mumm champagne, said that sales rose to 1.743 billion euros ($2.27 billion) in the three months to March 31, and added that in the first nine months of its year they totalled 6.65 billion euros, mainly owing to strong demand in China, India and Russia.

The group also pointed to solid growth in the United States, and a statement quoted chief executive Pierre Pringuet as saying that as a result, "we confirm our guidance of organic growth in profit from recurring operations of close to six percent for the full financial year 2012/13.

A breakdown of the data showed that sales grew by 11 percent in China, in part owing to a strong contribution by Martell cognac, while in India, domestic whiskies gained 17 percent while foreign alcohols, including the Absolut vodka brand, were up by 18 percent.

Those growth figures were nonetheless lower compared with the prior financial year, "particularly in the third quarter of 2012/12," the statement noted.

In Russia, sales leapt by 19 percent, lead by the group's whisky brands, while US sales rose by seven percent.

"Pernod Ricard's business demonstrated good resilience in, as announced at the beginning of the year, a less favourable economic environment," Pringuet said.

"Our growth is still based on the same drivers: our policy of premiumisation and innovation, the strategic brands and strong presence in emerging markets and the United States," he added.