PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard said on Thursday that sales growth slowed slightly in the third quarter, reflecting weakness in India and the earlier timing of the Chinese New year.
Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group after Britain's Diageo, kept its profit outlook unchanged and achieved some robust quarterly growth in the United States and in Europe.
Pernod Ricard posted sales of 1.987 billion euros ($2.13 billion) in the three months to March 31, up 3 percent on a like-for-like basis, compared with 4 percent growth in the second quarter.
This was, however, above the average of analysts' estimates for 1 percent growth in a company-compiled consensus.
The owner of Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and Martell cognac kept its forecast for underlying operating profit growth of between 2 percent and 4 percent in the full year to June 30.
In India, which accounts for about 10 percent of Pernod Ricard group revenue, a government ban on high-value bank notes held back local consumption. There has also been a ban on alcohol sales near highways in India since April 1.
$1 = 0.9327 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta