French Luxury good group LVMH has reported a 2% revenue drop in its wine and spirits division for the first nine months of 2008.  

LVMH, owner of Moët & Chandon Champagne and Hennessy Cognac, said yesterday (9 October) that wine and spirit revenue fell to EUR2.04bn (US$2.76) in the nine months to the end of September.

The fall shows that conditions have remained difficult for the business in the second half of 2008, following a 2% revenue dip in the first six months of the year.

LVMH said organic wine and spirits sales, excluding currency fluctuations, were up 5% for the nine months, partly due to price increases early in the year. The figure suggests a slight slowdown in organic sales in the third quarter, following organic sales growth of 6% in the first half.

"Trends seen since the beginning of the year have shown strong growth in emerging markets, particularly in China and Russia," LVMH said. A further sales breakdown was unavailable.

Analyst group Bernstein said following LVMH's second quarter results statement in July: "Moët-Hennessy continues to have brand issue in the US, where Hennessy VS is suffering from the switch from on-trade to off-trade." 

Total LVMH sales rose 4.5% to nearly EUR12bn for the nine-month period. Shares in the group were down 5% by lunchtime on Friday, compared to the previous day's closing price, reflecting general financial market weakness.