August 29, 2018 / 5:31 AM / 25 days ago

REFILE-Strong sales in China, India drive Pernod Ricard profit growth

(Fixes typo in para 2)

PARIS, Aug 29 (Reuters) - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard on Wednesday said sales and profit growth accelerated in full year 2017/18, driven by strong demand in China and India, as well as robust sales in the United States, its top market.

Pernod Ricard handed investors a 17 percent dividend hike.

For the year ahead, Pernod - the world’s second-biggest spirits group behind Britain’s Diageo - forecast further profit growth in spite of an uncertain geopolitical and monetary climate. It gave no further details.

Pernod Ricard forecast underlying profit growth from recurring operations of between 5 percent and 7 percent for the full year ending June 30, 2019.

This would compare with the 6.3 percent rise achieved in the 2017/2018 financial year, when profits came in at 2.358 billion euros ($2.70 billion), - in line with an average forecast of 2.36 billion euros in an Inquiry Financial poll for ThomsonReuters.

$1 = 0.8744 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Richard Lough

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