French spirits group Belvedere saw legal and other charges turn a healthy profit into a loss in 2005.

Belvedere today (28 April) posted a loss of EUR1.2m (US$1.5m) despite seeing operating profit surge 33% to EUR12.5m, according to Reuters.

The company, which last week launched an offer to buy out the minority shareholders in Marie Brizard International after securing a majority stake, saw sales rise 13.1% last year to EUR502.3m. Sales in Poland accounted for almost three-quarters of revenues.

Belvedere officials could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.

Earlier this week, Belvedere bought Château d'Esclans, a wine producer based between Le Muy and Callas in Provence