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Pernod Ricard Q1 sales growth slows as China and India decelerate

PARIS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard , which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott, posted a 1.3% rise in first-quarter underlying sales, reflecting slower growth rates in China and India.

In August Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo, had indicated it expected a relatively soft first quarter, citing a very high year-ago comparison basis in Asia.

For the first quarter ended Sept. 30, Pernod reported sales of 2.483 billion euros ($2.75 billion), marking a like-for-like rise of 1.3%. This compared with a growth rate of 10.4% in the year-ago quarter.

The owner of Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and Martell cognac said that despite an uncertain environment, it was keeping its forecast for a 5-7% organic rise in full-year profit from recurring operations after last year's 8.7% growth.

($1 = 0.9030 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)