Pernod Ricard banks on China, U.S. to power return to sales growth
- Pernod said profit from current operations in the six months to Dec. 31 reached 1.595 billion euros ($1.93 billion), an organic decline of 2.4%.
- Sales reached 4.985 billion euros, representing an organic decline of 3.9%.
Pernod Ricard on Thursday forecast a return to organic sales growth in the full year, after a strong performance in its key U.S. and Chinese markets helped the French spirits group beat estimates for first-half profit and sales.
Double-digit sales growth in China and a 5% sales rise in the United States propped up results for Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group after Diageo, as stuck-at-home consumers splurged on its Jameson Irish whiskey and Martell cognac.
Diageo also reported an unexpected rise in first-half underlying net sales growth as its premium tequila and bourbon flew off the shelves at U.S. retail stores.
Still, Pernod flagged continued uncertainty and volatility as the Covid-19 crisis weighed on duty-free sales and alcohol consumption in bars and restaurants.
Pernod, whose fiscal year starts on July 1, said profit from current operations in the six months to Dec. 31 reached 1.595 billion euros ($1.93 billion), an organic decline of 2.4% that was still better than analysts' expectations for a 7.9% fall.
Sales reached 4.985 billion euros, representing an organic decline of 3.9%, compared with analysts' expectations for a 5.4% drop.
Last month, smaller French peer Remy Cointreau beat third-quarter sales forecasts and said it was confident that demand for its premium cognac in China and the United States would fuel a profit recovery this year.
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