PARIS Dec 10 French spirits group Pernod Ricard
expects a "positive" holiday season in the United
States, its largest market, amid improving consumer sentiment
and declining unemployment, its regional head said on Tuesday.
The world's second-biggest distilled drinks group by sales
after Britain's Diageo also found that its inventory
situation with U.S. wholesalers was "quite healthy", said
Philippe Dreano, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Americas.
"A number of macro-economic signs and industry data point to
a positive holiday season at this stage," Dreano told analysts
during a conference call.
U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November
and the jobless rate hit a five-year low of 7.0 percent, raising
chances the Federal Reserve could start ratcheting back its
bond-buying stimulus as soon as this month.
Pernod Ricard makes around 15 percent of its sales in the
The Americas region, which also comprises Canada, Mexico and
Brazil, is the second-largest sales contributor for Pernod
behind Asia. The Americas region accounted for 26 percent of
group sales in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013-14.
The company, whose brands include Absolut vodka, Martell
cognac and Mumm champagne, has predicted group growth in
underlying profit from recurring operations of between 4 and 5
percent for the full year ending June 30, 2014, after weak
demand in China hit sales in the first quarter.