THE owner of Scotch whisky distiller Chivas Brothers has reported a slowdown in sales growth in China and India.

Pernod Ricard reported “good growth” of six per cent in the first quarter of its new financial year in China against 27% in the same period last year.

The firm said Chivas was “in decline due to challenging on-trade environment” in China. Overall sales for the first quarter totalled €2,483 million, with organic growth of 1.3% but

It said its global travel retail was down 6% and reported US growth of 6%.

READ MORE: Whisky jobs could be put at risk by US 25% tariff

The company also saw growth slow in India, to 3% down from 34% from the same period last year.

The company reported “good growth” in Europe of 3% “thanks to strong Sales in Eastern Europe and return to growth in Western Europe”.

Pernod Ricard said growth was driven in strategic international brands by 3%, with growth moderation “due to high comparison basis on Martell and Scotch but acceleration of Jameson, Beefeater, Malibu and Havana Club”, in strategic local brands by 2%, with softer growth due to very high period last year for Seagram’s Indian whiskies.

READ MORE: Chivas owner lifts profit forecasts for year

In specialty brands, there was 15% growth, continued “very dynamic performance” particularly for Lillet, Monkey 47, Del Maguey and Altos.

It said its strategic wines growth saw a 2% “modest decline” linked to continued implementation of value strategy on Jacob’s Creek.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Q1 growth was moderate, as expected."

READ MORE: Activist turns heat on whisky giant Pernod

He also said: "In an environment that remains particularly uncertain, we confirm our FY20 guidance of organic growth in profit from recurring operations of between 5% and 7%.”

Pernod Ricard also clarified it intends to sign an agreement with an investment services provider, to implement a first tranche of the share buy-back programme announced in August of up to €1 billion in total.

It said Pernod Ricard will undertake to acquire its own shares for a maximum amount of €150m starting today.