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Profit at France's Pernod Ricard up for year

PARIS (AP) -- French beverage company Pernod Ricard says its annual profit rose 4 percent in a difficult year, as its operations in the U.S. and emerging markets buoyed poor performance in Europe.

The company behind Absolut vodka and Mumm champagne said Thursday that its net income was 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion), up from 1.1 billion euros last year. Unlike most companies, Pernod Ricard's fiscal year runs from July to June.

Its net sales were also up 4 percent for the year, rising to 8.6 billion euros.

Much of the company's success over the past 12 months came from Asia and Africa, where profit from recurring operations was up 15 percent. By contrast, it dropped 18 percent in France and was down 2 percent in the rest of Europe.