Pernod Ricard expects stable full-year sales after difficult first half By Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Ricard logo is seen on labels at the Ricard production unit in Lormont, near Bordeaux, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – French liqueur producer Pernod Ricard (EPA:) said Thursday it expects sales to stabilize this year after a difficult first six months, pointing to improving demand in key Chinese and U.S. markets.

Pernod Ricard, which owns Martell cognac, Mumm champagne and Absolut vodka, said tight cost controls would spur margin expansion, with full-year organic operating profit set to grow at a low rate at a figure.

Profit from continuing operations in the first six months of the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 reached 2.144 billion euros ($2.30 billion), an organic decline of 3%, but slightly better than analysts’ expectations of a decline by 5.1%.

Sales at Pernod, the world’s second largest spirits producer Diageo (LON:) – amounted to €6.59 billion in the first half, down 3% organically and in line with analysts’ expectations.

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