Pernod beats forecasts with Asia boost

FRENCH spirits groups Pernod Ricard and Remy Cointreau beat forecasts yesterday as strong Asian demand and a recovering US market lifted its quarterly sales, while Pernod sounded a cautious note amid a fragile economic climate.

Pernod, the world’s second biggest spirits group behind Britain’s Diageo, said it was targeting a rise of close to six per cent in underlying operating profits in the year to June 2012 as it expected slow growth in its mature markets.

Smaller cognac and liqueur peer Remy voiced confidence in its capacity to improve earnings but cited an “uncertain economic environment, particularly in Europe”.

Pernod chief executive Pierre Pringuet said that six per cent was a “good” guidance, which was “in line with the six per cent we gave at the start of last year”.

“We do not rule out exceeding it,” he added.