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Oct. 19, 2017, 2:53 a.m. EDT

Pernod Ricard sales rise; profit target confirmed

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By Marc Navarro

Pernod Ricard SA (RI.FR) said Thursday that its first-quarter sales rose 2.0%, and confirmed its profit target.

Net sales at the French spirits group, the owner of brands such as Mumm champagne and Chivas Regal whisky, were 2.29 billion euros ($2.69 billion) for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from EUR2.25 billion in the year-earlier period. The figure was slightly above analysts consensus of EUR2.25 billion, according to FactSet estimates.

Stripping the effects of acquisitions, disposals and currency swings, sales in the quarter rose 5.7%, Pernod Ricard said. The company confirmed its guidance for fiscal year 2018 of organic growth in profit from recurring operations of between 3% and 5%. The company's fiscal year ends June 30.

Pernod Ricard's sales increase was primarily led by its international brands line, which grew 8% in the period and includes names like Absolut Vodka, Jameson, Ballantine's and Malibu. The company said its wines line had a strong quarter, also posting 8% growth.

"We have had a very good start to the year, with our growth accelerating and diversifying in terms of both markets and brands," said Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Ricard.

Sales were negatively affected by weaker currencies in the Americas and Asia, the company said.

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