Pernod hails 'outstanding' performance
Despite "difficult" trading conditions in the UK, Spain and Italy, Pernod Ricard has achieved double-digit profit growth in Europe in the second half of 2008.
The company has delivered global net profits of €615 million for the period, up 5% on the previous year. The acquisition of Absolut "contributed immediately and significantly to the group's growth," the company reported.
The depreciation of the pound, along with currencies such as the Indian rupee and Australian dollar, restricted sales growth in some markets. But currency movements also helped the group increase gross margins by 18%.
Pernod declared its performance "outstanding". It added: "Although visibility is limited for the second half of the [financial] year, we anticipate that the wines and spirits sector will on the whole continue to show excellent resilience.
"Our leadership positions should, thanks to the combined strength of our distribution network and our strong brands, enable us to gain market share in many countries, as we did during the first half-year."