French drinks maker Pernod Ricard said it will shift to beverages targeting younger Chinese consumers amid a government crackdown on extravagance, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The owner of Martell cognac and Absolut vodka said demand in China has slowed after the government scaled back government-sponsored banquets and gift giving. It said sales fell 9 percent to 2.01 billion euros (US$2.66 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, dragged down by unfavorable currency swings. The result was short of analysts’ consensus forecasts. Excluding acquisitions and currency moves, sales fell 1 percent, hit notably by a slowdown in China where sales of high-end drinks have tumbled, the report said.
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