The French group – which ranks as Scotland’s second-largest Scotch distiller with brands such as The Glenlivet, Chivas Regal and Royal Salute – posted a 4 per cent rise in revenues for the three months to the end of September. Analysts had been predicting a sales increase of about 2.7 per cent.
Total sales during the first quarter amounted to £2 billion, with the Americas chalking up the highest growth, up 8 per cent, followed by Europe at 6 per cent.
Chief executive Alexandre Ricard said it was a “good start” to the financial year, and re-confirmed guidance for full-year profit growth of between 2 and 4 per cent. The group’s strategic international brands – particularly Chivas, Absolute and Jameson – sold strongly in the UK.