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Strong sales figures from Pernod Ricard add to pressure on Diageo

Published:  22 October, 2015

Pernod Ricard is reporting solid growth for the three months to September 30, 2015, according to figures released today.

Sales for the period were £1.6 billion, which represented organic growth of 3%.

Revenue growth was 9%, boosted by fluctuations in the currency markets.

Global sales volumes were up 6% year on year.

Sales were up 4% in Pernod Ricard's mature markets.

The Americas, which accounts for 28% of Pernod Ricard's turnover, posted 6% sales growth. Europe, which accounts for 30%, was up 3%.

The continuing trend towards premiumisation helped push sales in the USA up 8%. Jamesons recorded 26% growth in the quarter, and The Glenlivet 15%.

However, in Asia and the rest of the world, where 42% of the group's revenues are, the drinks giant could only manage 1% growth.

Emerging markets growth excluding China was 7%. Africa and the Middle East posted 21% growth, driven by sales of Scotch, Jamesons and Martell.

However, poor figures in China pull that back to 2% overall. Sales in China fell by 9% over the quarter.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive of Pernod Ricard, said: "The beginning of the financial year is consistent with our scenario of continued gradual improvement in sales in a contrasted environment.

"We continue to implement our long-term growth strategy, while increasing investments behind our priority brands and innovations and remaining very disciplined on costs and pricing."

Guidance for the 2015/16 year is organic growth of between 1% and 3% - some way off Ricard's stated aim of 5% growth year-on-year.

Pernod Ricard's results compare favourably with the last quarterly figures from its main rival Diageo.

In the three months to June 30, Diageo reported organic sales down by 1% in North America and by 2% in Asia-Pacific.