Weak France, Spain weigh on Pernod H1 results

PARIS Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:35am EST

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PARIS Feb 14 (Reuters) - French spirits giant Pernod Ricard posted first-half earnings which reflected a sharp slowdown in sales in France and Spain in the second quarter, more moderate demand in Asia but solid growth in the United States, while it kept its full-year outlook of slower profit growth.

The world's second-biggest spirits group behind Britain's Diageo said it still targeted a rise of close to 6 percent in underlying operating profit in the full year to June 2013, a slowdown from 9 percent in fiscal 2012.

The owner of Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and Martell cognac said first-half sales reached 4.907 billion euros, an underlying rise of 3 percent, while underlying operating profit grew 1 percent to 1.459 billion. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Mark John)