Boizel Chanoine Champagne (BCC), owner of Champagne Lanson, has seen net profits halve in the first six months of 2009 due to lower demand for Champagne in the global economic downturn.

Net profits for the six months to the end of June slipped to EUR1.12m (US$1.63m), down from EUR2.29m in the same period of 2008, said the company today (29 September). Pre-tax profits plummeted to EUR1.88m, from EUR5.02m last year.

Lower global demand for Champagne saw the company's half-year net sales fall 18% to EUR88.4m, against EUR108m a year earlier.

However, in volume terms, BCC sales slipped by 4.6% for the six months, outperforming a Champagne market that has seen volume sales fall by around 19% in the first half of 2009, according to figures from Champagne trade body CIVC.

The group said that the half-year results should not be seen as an indicator for its full-year, with only a third of annual sales generally made in the first six months of the year.

But, it added that it expects sales decline for the full-year.