Belvedere has played down fears that the economic downturn will hit the travel retail sector in the coming months, but has warned that it has seen some indicators of potential troublespots.

The France-based wine and spirits company, which owns the Danzka and Sobieski vodka brands, has noted that fluctuating currencies suggest that "life may be a little tougher next year" for drinks companies operating in the travel retail channel.

Speaking to just-drinks at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes yesterday (27 October), Torben Vedel Andersen, sales director for duty free at Belvedere, said that the economic crisis had not yet made its presence felt in the sector.

"We're starting to see indicators that life may be a little tougher next year, but we have no lack of business yet," Andersen said. "It may come, but nobody really knows. That's mainly because of the enormous changes in currencies. That's more of a problem for us than short-term share movement."

Andersen noted, however, that decreasing fuel prices offered travel retail a reason to be cheerful. "There, we have a positive indicator that may support our business. So, it's not all black."

Belvedere is among the drinks companies exhibiting at the trade fair, which runs until Friday.