French wine and spirits group Pernod Ricard said its net profit in the first half of its fiscal year rose 5% thanks to strengthening sales in Asia.

The company behind Absolut vodka and Jameson whiskey said its net profit rose to €858m in the first half of its 2012-13 fiscal year, up from €820m the same time last year.

Revenues climbed 6% to €4.91 billion.

Pernod Ricard said that Jameson net sales rose by 13%, with strong growth in the US, Europe and Russia. 

It posted 13% organic growth in sales in Asia behind an 18% increase in China, notably crediting rising market share for the Martell brand.

The Americas posted 6% organic growth in sales.

The company predicted 6% organic growth in profit from recurring operations for all of 2013.

Pernod Ricard owns Irish Distillers, whose figures show that Jameson sales grew in the last half of last year, marking its 24th consecutive year of growth. The whiskey is now sold in 41 markets. There were more than four million cases of Jameson sold in 2012.

A statement from the company said that it is seriously concerned about the local economy in Ireland.