PARIS, April 20 French spirits maker Pernod
Ricard said on Thursday that sales growth slowed
slightly in the third quarter, reflecting weakness in India and
the earlier timing of the Chinese New year.
Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group after
Britain's Diageo, kept its profit outlook unchanged and
achieved some robust quarterly growth in the United States and
Pernod Ricard posted sales of 1.987 billion euros ($2.13
billion) in the three months to March 31, up 3 percent on a
like-for-like basis, compared with 4 percent growth in the
This was, however, above the average of analysts' estimates
for 1 percent growth in a company-compiled consensus.
The owner of Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and Martell
cognac kept its forecast for underlying operating profit growth
of between 2 percent and 4 percent in the full year to June 30.
In India, which accounts for about 10 percent of Pernod
Ricard group revenue, a government ban on high-value bank notes
held back local consumption. There has also been a ban on
alcohol sales near highways in India since April 1.
($1 = 0.9327 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)