Pernod Ricard lifts dividend after earnings rise

Pernod Ricard SA.(RI.FR) said Wednesday that it will raise its dividend for fiscal 2018 after earnings increased, helped by a reduction in expenses.

The Paris-based premium spirits company’s net profit was 1.58 billion euros ($1.85 billion) in 2018, a 13% on-year increase, it said. Pernod Ricard attributed the rise to a reduction in financial expenses. Analysts had expected net profit to come in at EUR1.5 billion, according to a consensus estimate from FactSet.

Pernod Ricard delivered sales of EUR8.99 billion for 2018, down 0.3% on a reported basis and just shy of FactSet’s EUR9.02 billion consensus estimate. The company said sales in the fourth quarter came to EUR1.93 billion.

For the current fiscal year 2019, Pernod Ricard is aiming for 5% to 7% organic growth on its profit from recurring operations.

The maker of Absolut vodka and Jameson whiskey said it will pay a dividend for fiscal 2018 of EUR2.36, up 17% from the previous fiscal year.

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