Rising sales of “super premium” spirits are driving growth for drinks group Pernod as customers trade up to more expensive brands. Sales of Ballantine’s whisky at £200 a bottle grew by 57% and Martell Cordon Bleu cognac at £90 a bottle rose 43%. The French spirits company said overall sales grew 7.2% to 4.9bn Euros (£3.34bn) in the first nine months of the financial year. Spirits saw organic growth of 12.6% and wine grew 6.8% in the third quarter. Chairman Patrick Ricard predicted growth of around 20% in net profit, excluding foreign exchange impact, for the full year. The Daily Telegraph 5/5/07 page 33 (Business) The Times 5/5/07 page 58 (Need To Know, Business)