Pernod Ricard sales buoyed by innovation, growth in the Americas

French spirits group Pernod Ricard on Thursday reported a 13% lift in profit for the full-year ended June 2017. The company said that profit rose to €1.4bn ($1.65bn) on the back of a €9bn sales growth.

The maker of Jameson Irish Whiskey and Absolut vodka said that the good performance was fueled by strong growth in the U.S., an improvement in China, tight cost control and by innovation, which it describes as new products or variations of existing brands, like Absolut Lime vodka or Jameson Black Barrel.

The company said that the Americas region grew 7%, driven by the U.S. which saw a 5% sales lift. Sales in Europe climbed 3%, while Asia and the rest of the world saw a modest 1% growth.

Pernod Ricard notes that India, which had been a growth driver, grew just 1% in the year, held back by demonetization of high value bank notes and a ban on liquor sales near major highways to curb drinking.

The drinks maker said that Africa and Middle East grew 1% in the period, slowed by continued macroeconomic and geopolitical context.

The group warned that currency headwinds are estimated to reduce profits by €125m in fiscal 2018 as dollar depreciates against the euro.

On outlook, the company set a guidance of growth of 3 – 5% organic rise in profit from recurring operations for the full 2018 fiscal year.

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