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PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Pernod Ricard posted a 4 percent rise in first-half profit from recurring operations on Thursday, helped by robust demand for its Jameson whiskey in its top U.S. market, improving demand in China and by cost controls.
Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Britain's Diageo, said it still faced an uncertain environment, although it kept its annual profit growth outlook unchanged.
First-half group sales reached 5.06 billion euros ($5.40 billion), an organic rise of 4 percent, while profit from recurring operations reached 1.5 billion euros.
This compared with analysts' expectations of 5.02 billion in sales and 1.48 billion in operating profit in a Reuters poll.
The owner of Absolut vodka, Martell cognac and Mumm champagne kept its target for an organic rise of between 2 percent and 4 percent in profit from recurring operations for the year ending June 30, 2017.
$1 = 0.9366 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta