Champagne sales last year registered a fall against 2007, according to recent figures.

Trade body Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne (CIVC) said yesterday (5 February) that 322.5m bottles of Champagne were sold last year, a decrease of 4.8% on 2007.

The CIVC played down the decline, saying the 2008 results were situated "slightly above" those for 2006.

The French market, which accounts for 50% of global sales, suffered a 3.6% dip but "resisted much better" than EU countries (-6.5%) and non-EU countries (-6.2%).

"December confirmed the attraction of Champagne for French consumers with sales rising 6.2% bringing to an end a downward trend which had begun in September when the world financial crisis broke," the CIVC said.

"On the export front, definitive figures by specific market are not yet available but they should demonstrate that shipments to a number of emerging countries and even European ones, have partially compensated for the negative performance of the mature markets (the UK and US)."