Pernod fuelled by rise in demand from Chinese spirit drinkers

FRENCH spirits manufacturer Pernod Ricard yesterday announced a strong rise in half-year profits for 2010 driven by growth in the expanding Chinese market.

The firm reported half-year net profits of €666m (£560m) up from €604m the year before.

Asian growth overall was particularly strong with sales up 29 per cent.

Pernod said a gradual recovery in North American and western European markets had also helped boost sales.

The group reported sales of €4.282bn, compared to €3.789bn in the first half of 2009.

Pernod-Ricard’s brands include Absolut, Martell, Jameson, Chivas Regal and Perrier-Jouet.

The firm said it had increased its marketing spend over the period.