Pernod Ricard, the world's second largest drinks company, posted robust third quarter results, underpinned by strong sales growth in emerging markets.

Its European market saw a divide with sales growth in the east and a slight decline in the west, with Russia as the main contributor driven by sales of the company's Jameson, Chivas Regal, Olmeca, and Ballantine's products.

"We are very pleased with the Group's performance over the first nine months, on the back of which we can confirm our targets for the current financial year," Pierre Pringuet, chief executive of Pernod Ricard, said.

Consolidated Group sales grew by 5 percent to €1.7bn (£1.4bn) on the previous year's third quarter.

Paris-based Pernod Ricard said its China sales had been hit by an earlier national New Year celebration, which had a negative €20m impact.

However, inclusive of the third quarter, nine-month sales in China grew by 22 percent, driven by Martell, which saw over one million cases sold.

Elsewhere in Pernod's emerging markets units, Indian drinkers pushed nine-month sales of local whiskies up by 25 percent, with the company's top 14 brands, including Absolut vodka and The Glenlivet, seeing 25 percent growth.

An early Easter helped bring eastern European sales up in the third quarter, taking growth in the area up by 19 percent in the nine month period.

Russian sales were up 29 percent, and Ukrainian sales grew 26 percent.

Western Europe saw sales decline by 1 percent.

Pernod also hailed a "continued positive trend" in its US market sales, with 5 percent growth in the third quarter.

The drinks business's shares were up in Paris by 0.65 percent on the day to 80.37 at 09.39am CEST.