PARIS Aug 30 French drinks group Pernod Ricard
said it recorded its best growth since the 2008 crisis
after solid Asian markets and robust demand in the United States
lifted annual profit by 9 percent, beating its expectations.
Pernod Ricard also named board member Daniele Ricard, 73, as
chairman to replace her late brother Patrick Ricard, who died on
Aug. 17 at the age of 67.
Patrick's nephew Alexandre Ricard, 40, will become deputy
chief executive and chief operating officer in view to
succeeding Chief Executive Pierre Pringuet, who is due to retire
Alexandre Ricard's promotion is expected to reinforce the
Pernod family's grip on the world's second-largest spirits
The Paris-based maker of Absolut vodka and Martell cognac
posted organic growth in profit from recurring operations of 9
percent to 2.11 billion euros ($2.64 billion) on Thursday,
beating Pernod's own guidance for growth close to 8 percent in
the fiscal year
Underlying sales rose 8 percent to 8.22 billion euros.
The owner of Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes also achieved
a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.8 at the end of June, compared
with its own guidance for 3.9.
The French company proposed a dividend of 1.58 euros a share
for the year, an increase of 10 percent.
Last week, Britain's Diageo, the world's biggest
spirits group, posted a 13 percent rise in full-year profit,
helped by its exposure to fast growing emerging markets, and
putting it on track to meet its medium-term targets.
($1 = 0.7982 euros)
(Reporting by Elena Berton and Dominique Vidalon; Editing by