Organic sales growth at spirits maker Pernod Ricard beat expectations in the first half of the year on strong continued growth in the US.

Organic sales, which excludes factors including exchange rate movements, acquisitions and disposals, for the first half of the year grew 4 per cent, up from 3 per cent growth in the same period for 2015/2016. Analysts had predicted organic sales across the company to grow by 3.1 per cent in the second half.

The maker of Martell cognac and Absolut vodka reported total sales increased 2 per cent to €5.06bn in first half of the year. Analysts expected sales for the drinks maker to come in at €5.01bn for the first half of the year, according to a poll by Bloomberg.

The company said it had seen improvement in China, travel retail and Russia compared to the full-year 2016. However it noted demonetisation in India had seen a “temporary adverse impact” leading to growth deceleration in the country.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive officer of the company said:

Our half-year results are strong, delivering a continued performance improvement. Our strategy remains consistent and is driving results. For full year FY 17, in an uncertain environment, we plan to continue improving our business performance year-on-year vs. FY 16. We will continue to support priority markets, brands and innovations while focusing on operational excellence. We expect to deliver organic growth in Profit from Recurring Operations in line with the guidance of +2% to +4%.

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