Sales and profits up at Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard has posted 7% organic sales growth in the six months to December 31.

Sales in Europe were up 2%, a recovery from a 5% decline in the whole of 2009/10.

Growth in western Europe was described as moderate.

The rise was achieved with help from a 4% increase in advertising and promotional spend.

Profit from recurring operations in Europe, excluding France, was up 4%, with total group profit ahead by 14% at €1.2 billion.

The company’s 14 strategic spirits and Champagne brands grew by 8% in volume and 13% in value, with the star performers Martell (32%), Royal Salute (+31%) and Perrier-Jouet (+31%).

Chief executive Pierre Pringuet said: “This strong performance enables us to revise upwards our guidance for organic growth in profit from recurring operations to a level close to 7% over the full 2010/11 financial year. We will pursue our policy of sustained investments in our strategic brands and markets.”