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Pernod Ricard affirms FY'20 guidance as Q1 organic sales rise 1.3% YOY

Pernod Ricard SA on Oct. 17 affirmed its guidance for fiscal 2020 after reporting first-quarter revenue that grew 1.3% year over year.

The maker of Absolut vodka and Havana Club rum said organic net sales for the three months to Sept. 30 was €2.48 billion, up from €2.39 billion in the year-ago period but short of the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of €2.51 billion, with five analysts reporting. On a reported basis, sales grew 4% due to a favorable foreign exchange impact.

Pernod Ricard confirmed its full year guidance for organic growth in profit from recurring operations of between 5% and 7%. On a call with analysts following the publication of the results, Hélène de Tissot, managing director of finance, IT and operations, noted that international trade tensions, Brexit and lower global GDP forecasts remain significant risk factors.

"We are very early in the year and the environment is particularly uncertain," said de Tissot.

Reported sales increased across all geographies, with 6% year-over-year rises in the U.S. and China and a 3% advance in Europe. Revenue fell 6% in its global travel retail division, which the company attributed to a very strong comparable period.

Pernod Ricard's specialty brands division, which houses Del Maguey mezcal and Monkey 47 gin, among others, grew sales by 15% year over year. Strategic international brands and strategic local brands grew turnover by 3% and 2%, respectively. Sales fell 2% in the strategic wines unit due to the implementation of a value strategy for the Jacob's Creek brand.

The company also provided further details of its €1 billion share buyback plan announced in August. The first tranche of repurchases will run from Oct. 18 to Dec. 18 for a maximum amount of €150 million.

In morning trading in Paris, shares of Pernod Ricard were down 2.8%, or €4.65, at €161.95.