Pernod Ricard hit by slowdown in China

WINES and spirits group Pernod Ricard yesterday fell short of forecasts by posting a four per cent rise in annual net sales to €8.58bn (£5.53bn).

The French firm behind Absolut Vodka and Beefeater gin said organic profits rose six per cent to €2.2bn, as weakness in China was offset by other Asian markets.

Analysts at Investec say slowing sales in China are now a “recurring theme” and that sales growth slowed from eight per cent to just two per cent in the fourth quarter.

Vice chairman and chief executive Pierre Pringuet said: “Despite a less buoyant environment than that of last year, we achieved our guidance.”

Shares in the group closed down 1.85 per cent at €89 yesterday.