Champagne sales last year rose slightly, according to figures released earlier this week, Les Echos reported today. The French inter-professional committee for Champagne has announced an increase in the number of bottles sold in 2003 of 2% compared with 2002. Over 293.3m bottles were sold last year.

The French market accounted for 59.3%, or 174m bottles, of Champagne sales.

Total exports of Champagne were valued at €1.68 billion, with the UK taking 34.4m bottles. The US took 19m bottles of Champagne last year.

Exports to Australia increased by 35% to 1.6m bottles, while Japan received 5m bottles, a rise of 25% on 2002, the committee said.