PARIS Oct 25 French spirits group Pernod Ricard
lagged forecasts with a 5 percent rise in underlying
first-quarter sales, as demand for its Scotch whiskies slowed in
Asia and sales declined in austerity-hit Southern Europe.
The world's second-biggest spirits group behind Britain's
Diageo made a cautious profit forecast for the current
year, predicting a rise in underlying profit from recurring
operations of close to 6 percent in the year ending June 30,
Pernod achieved profit growth of 9 percent in 2011-12.
Pernod said second-quarter underlying sales growth would
suffer from unfavourable comparisons with the year-ago quarter,
which had been boosted by French pre-buying ahead of an excise
duty hike and an early Chinese New Year.
The average estimate in a Reuters poll of ten analysts was
for first-quarter underlying sales growth of 6.2 percent.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Mark John)