Pernod Ricard bullish for 2010 as duty-free thrives

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH drinks group Pernod Ricard lifted its full-year profit target as it posted third-quarter sales above forecasts and said key markets such as the United States, Russia as well as duty free had improved.

Pernod’s comparable third-quarter sales in North and South America combined rose three per cent, in Asia and the rest of the world some 10 per cent and they were up one per cent in France, but fell six per cent in the rest of Europe. Pernod, which makes the Ricard anise-based spirit and Beefeater gin, saw sales in its fiscal third quarter reach €1.54bn (£133bn) compared with expectations of €1.45bn consensus forecast.

On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 16 per cent, beating market expectations of 11 per cent. Best performing brands included Martell cognac with sales up 16 per cent, Jameson whisky which was up 11 per cent and Absolut vodka was some nine per cent.