July 28, 2005 03:30 ET

PERNOD RICARD : 2005 1st Half-Year Net Sales

Paris cedex 16 -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 28, 2005 -- - 2005 1st half-year organic growth of 9.4% (8.8% excluding bulk)

- Acceleration of 2nd quarter organic growth to 10.3%

- Remarkable performances for Asia and the Americas

Paris, 28 July 2005: Wine and Spirits sales (excluding duties and taxes) at 30 June 2005 increased by 8% over the same period last year to E 1,650 million from E 1,528 million. Organic growth amounted to 9.4% (+8.8% excluding bulk spirits sales), after taking into account the impacts of foreign exchange (-1.1%) and structure (-0.3%).

Over this period, the Group's 12 key brands enjoyed net sales growth of 6% in volume and 11% in value, reflecting an acceleration of progressions realised in the 1st quarter of 2005 (3% and 9% respectively). The premium brands Chivas Regal (+19%), Martell (+8%) and Jameson (+13%) recorded strong growth over all regions and in particular in Asia and the Americas. We also note the strong growth of Havana Club (+17%), as well as the performances of Jacob's Creek (+12%), Wild Turkey (+10%) and Amaro Ramazzotti (+11%).

Remarkable growth in the Asia - Pacific and Rest of World region: +18.5% organic growth

China remains the star market, posting spectacular progressions for Chivas Regal and Martell. India and Thailand also achieved very good performances thanks to the contribution of local brands. Australia was revitalised by the growth of Jacob's Creek, Chival Regal and Wild Turkey.

Excellent performance in the Americas: +10.5% organic growth

In a well oriented market, Pernod Ricard USA recorded very good performances and gained market share. Its complete portfolio of key brands posted depletions growth: Wild Turkey (+6%), Jacob's Creek (+8%), The Glenlivet (+10%), Jameson (+21%). Organic net sales growth for the United States thus totalled 6%. South America's 30.3% organic growth rate reflected the dynamism of this region, notably in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. Whiskies enjoyed a remarkable progression throughout the region thanks to Chivas Regal, 100 Pipers, Something Special.

Overall favourable 1st half year for Europe (excluding France): +8% organic growth (+6.3% excluding bulk sales)

Organic growth in Europe results from the continuation of key brands growth (+7%), as well as the strong development of local brands: Becherovka (Czech Republic), Ruavieja (Spain), Ararat (Russia). Generating more than 50% of the region's growth, Eastern European countries now constitute a very significant growth driver.

France: a stagnant market with organic growth of -0.7%

The turnaround reached in the 2nd quarter enable the French market to achieve virtual stability for the whole country. Double digit growth for vodkas (Wyborowa, Zubrowka) and Havana Club rum have compensated for the poorly oriented aniseeds market, while the whisky category remained stable.

2005 1st half-year consolidated net sales (6 months)

Pernod Ricard Group posted consolidated net sales of E 1,675 million for the 1st half of 2005, up 6.5% from E 1,573 million realised over the same period last year. Non-Wine and Spirits activity net sales were halved to E 25 million pursuant to the disposal of associated assets during the period.

2004/2005 consolidated net sales (12 months)

Following the change of year end to the end of June, Wine and Spirits sales amounted to E 3,611 million, and increase of 4.7%. Excluding currency (-2.3%) and structure (-0.4%) effects, organic growth was 7.3%. Consolidated sales for the same period were E 3,674 million, compared to E 3,550 million for the previous 12 months.

2004/2005 consolidated net sales (18 months)

Wine and Spirits sales for the period 1 January 2004 to 30 June 2005 amounted to E 5,139 million with consolidated sales of E 5,246 million.

Conclusion and financial perspectives

We were once again successful in accelerating the growth of our key brands and the premiumisation of our portfolio in the 1st half of 2005. Asia and America are the main engines driving this growth, with Europe also contributing to this success, notably sustained by the strong progression in Eastern Europe. This excellent performance enabled us to strongly increase our advertising and promotional expenditures in the 1st half of 2005 in order to maintain the momentum of our brands, while at the same time generating an organic growth operating profit for the 1st half of 2005, between +6% and +8%, in line with our perennial growth model.

Shareholders' agenda

22 September (Thursday) morning: 2004-2005 financial year (18 months) results

For more information, please contact Pernod Ricard:

Francisco de la VEGA / Communications VP Tel: +33 (0)1 41 00 40 96

Patrick de BORREDON / Investor Relations VP Tel: +33 (0)1 41 00 41 71

Florence TARON / Press Relations Manager Tel: +33 (0)1 41 00 40 88

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