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Drinks group scrapes out a full-year profit

Pernod Ricard, the Paris-based drinks group, recorded a rise in profits in 2009/10 despite seeing a slight drop in revenues.

Reporting its full year results on 2 September, the world's second-largest spirits group by sales said net profit had risen by 1% to €951 million for the year ending 30 June, but saw revenues fall by 2% to €7 billion. Its results were helped by an overall reduction in debt and strong growth in Asian markets.

Pierre Pringeut, CEO of Pernod Ricard, said in a statement: "Our priorities for the 2010/11 financial year remain the development of our premium strategic brands, a continuing strong marketing investment level and the reduction of group debt."

Pernod Ricard said it had continued to increase its investment in marketing throughout the last year, and saw 14% growth in its Asia/rest of the world markets led by sales of Martell Cognac in China.

Strong sales in Asia were in contrast to the European markets, which continued to struggle, while the group said it has seen a "very gradual" recovery in consumer spending in the US.

Pernod Ricard, which owns brands including Absolute vodka, Beefeater gin and Chivas whisky, is still 12% owned by the founding family. Second generation Patrick Ricard (pictured) is chairman of the board of the company that was formed in 1974 when rival groups Pernod and Ricard merged. 

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