French Champagne and spirits group Rémy Cointreau today (20 July) posted a 2.5% rise in first-quarter revenues, lifted by booming fizz sales in Japan.

Rémy reported sales of EUR149.3m (US$188.1m) for the three months to 30 June, with the company's Champagne labels, including Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, seeing sales leap by almost 15%.

The company saw spirits sales rise by just under 5%, buoyed by higher Cointreau sales in the US and a the strength of Passoa and St. Rémy brandy in Europe.

Cognac sales rose almost 6% with the company's flagship Rémy Martin brand surpassing last year's "strong" first-quarter sales, Rémy said.

"The excellent results by Fine Champagne in China and Russia confirm the high potential of these superior categories in these markets," the company added.

Rémy, however, saw sales from its stable of partner brands slump 12%. The company pointed to the loss of its distribution rights for the German duty-free market, which were taken over by Maxxium last October.

Nevertheless, the company affirmed its full-year forecast. "These results for the start of the year are fully in-line with Rémy Cointreau's value strategy and its objective of double-digit organic growth in current operating profit for the 2006/07 financial year," the company said.