Indian alcohol curb spoils party for Pernod Ricard

Spirits maker Pernod Ricard reported a 3 per cent rise in third quarter sales but warned the introduction of a curb on alcohol sales in India this month would hit its growth in Asia’s second largest economy.

The French maker of Absolut vodka and Jameson whisky revealed a slowdown in its Indian market, with sales contracting 4 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of this year following a shock decision by the nationalist BJP government to remove 86 per cent of the country’s currency from circulation and ban alcohol sales within 500m of national highways.

The curb on sales came into force at the start of the month and will weigh on Pernod’s fourth quarter Indian performance and spill over into its first half of 2018, it said. India is Pernod’s third largest market after its home market France and China and makes up around 10 per cent of its revenues.

Still, the owner of Mumm champagne managed to notch up an 8 per cent rise in sales in its Americas market and a 7 per cent climb in Europe in the quarter ending in March. The company repeated its overall guidance for the year.

“In an uncertain environment, our strategy is consistent and driving results, in particular in terms of diversifying the sources of growth”, said chief executive Alexandre Ricard.

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