Irish Distillers said its Jameson Irish whiskey brand remains the top Irish whiskey in the world with sales of 6.5 million cases last year.

Jameson saw volume growth of 13% for the year, with value growth of 15%. 

The whiskey is sold in 130 markets around the world, and in 71 of these the brand saw double to triple digit growth with the US, South Africa, UK, Canada and Australia all performing especially well.

Meanwhile, Irish Distillers - which is owned by Pernod Ricard - said its portfolio of prestige whiskey brands saw volume growth of 4% and value growth of 5%.

The brands include Redbreast, Green Spot and Midleton Very Rare. 

Reflecting the growing global interest in Single Pot Irish Still Whiskey, the brands are now exported to 28 markets with particular strong growth outside of the US.

Irish Distillers' recent product launches include Jameson Caskmates, which saw 110% volume growth and 103% value growth during 2016-2017. 

Earlier, the French spirits maker Pernod Ricard said it was confident that profits for the current financial year would show an acceleration from the 2016/17 underlying profit growth of 3.3% it reported today. 

Cost cuts, robust sales in its top market of the US, and stronger demand in China offset weakness in India as Pernod posted the rise in earnings.

Pernod - the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo - also handed investors a 7% dividend hike.

The owner of Mumm champagne and Martell cognac said it was confident it would improve its performance. 

Pernod Ricard forecast underlying profit growth from recurring operations of between 3-5% for the full year up to June 30, 2018. 

This would be an acceleration from the 3.3% rise in profit from recurring operations in the 2016/2017 full financial year, when profits came in at €2.394 billion.

This was- slightly below the average of €2.42 billion in an Inquiry Financial poll for Thomson Reuters. 

The 2016/17 performance was near the high end of Pernod's guidance for underlying operating profit growth of 2-4%.