Pernod eyes annual Asia profit decline due to China

PARIS, March 27 Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:17am EDT

PARIS, March 27 (Reuters) - French drinks group Pernod Ricard expects full year 2013/14 underlying operating profit in Asia to record a low single digit decline, with demand in China, its second-largest market, seen likely to stay weak until end-June.

The forecast was included in slides available on Pernod Ricard's website ahead of a conference call on Asia at 1300 GMT.

Like rivals Diageo and Remy Cointreau, Pernod has been hit by a government crackdown on luxury gift-giving and personal spending by civil servants in China, as well as by slowing economic growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

Pernod Ricard makes 12 percent of sales and 15 percent of profits in China, its second-biggest market after the U.S.

Asia makes around 40 percent of group sales and 46 percent of annual profits.

Pernod's fiscal year ends on June 30. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus)

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