Boizel Chanoine Champagne (BCC) has posted what it has described as a "solid" set of results for 2008, but has declined to offer guidance on 2009.

The Champagne group said yesterday (16 March) that net profit for the 12-month period dipped by 3.9% year-on-year to EUR20.5m (US$26.6m), with sales slipping by 6.7% to EUR300.6m.

The results for last year, however, excluded a EUR37m hit the company took as the result of a destocking programme.

In a Champagne market in which overall volumes last year were down by 4.8%, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, Boizel said it had continued to roll out its value policy, giving priority to its brands rather than volumes.

"In this way, the group's houses sold 19.8m bottles of Champagne wine in total, representing an 8.3% drop in its volume," the company added.

"After trending up over the start of the year, business was hit by a mediocre fourth quarter despite a good month in December."

Exports, which accounted for 45% of volumes, were flat against 2007.

Looking forward, the group said that the global economic environment "is not providing any visibility".

"Against this backdrop," the company said, "BCC is once again setting out its position as a global Champagne player present across all distribution channels, from luxury to low cost. Its presence on diversified markets provides the group with flexibility, which should enable it to not be solely dependent on the export and luxury markets, which are particularly difficult."

Separately, a report in Les Echos today cited the company's managing director as saying that BCC will look to return to the US market next year. The company pulled out of the US in 2008, the report said, following a sharp fall in Champagne consumption.