(Adds details from analyst call)
PARIS, May 15 (Reuters) - French drinks group Pernod Ricard forecast stable 2016-17 sales in Asia on Monday, with its second-largest market India facing a temporary slowdown.
However, the outlook for China, Pernod Ricard’s third-biggest market, was positive for Martell cognac, the world’s second-largest spirits group after Diageo added.
Philippe Guettat, chief executive for Asia, told a conference call that he still expected sales growth of at least 5 percent in Asia over the medium-term, and that China would be a “major part of that ambition”.
“Mid-term the group has a target of mid-single digit sales growth and Asia needs to deliver more than that. This remains our goal,” he said
Pernod Ricard’s sales in Asia were flat in the nine months to March 31.
India, which accounts for about 10 percent of group revenue, has been a key growth area, driven by local whisky brands such as Blender’s Pride and Royal Stag.
But a government ban on high-value bank notes held back local consumption in the second and third quarter and sales growth in India slowed to 1 percent in the nine months to March 31, from 12 percent in the full year 2015-16. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Alexander Smith)