PARIS (Reuters) - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard remains confident over its medium term-prospects in China despite the coronavirus epidemic which will hit its full year sales, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.
Alexandre Ricard also said in a phone interview that his assumption was that consumer demand for spirits in China would return to normal from June.
“Our mid-term ambition remains intact. Fundamentals in China are extremely solid,” Ricard said.
Pernod Ricard has a medium-term ambition to grow sales at a high single digit to low double digit rate in China.
China is the group’s second largest market after the United States, accounting for around 10% of sales, and the company has been banking on China’s growing middle class and young population to further boost sales.
Pernod Ricard said earlier on Thursday it was cutting its full-year profit growth outlook for 2019-2020 as the coronavirus epidemic in China was likely to have a severe impact on its third quarter performance.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Christian Lowe