Pernod Ricard, which owns Martell cognac, Mumm champagne and Absolut vodka, said strict control over costs would drive margin expansion, with full-year organic operating profit set to grow at a low single-digit rate.

Profit from current operations in the first six months of its fiscal year to Dec. 31 reached 2.144 billion euros ($2.30 billion), an organic decline of 3%, but slightly better than analysts' expectations of a 5.1% decline.

Sales at Pernod - the world's second-largest spirits maker after Diageo - amounted to 6.59 billion euros in the first half, down 3% organically and on par with analysts' expectations.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by Tassilo Hummel)