Vranken-Pommery Monopole has reported a 1% rise in Champagne sales for 2008, outperforming a market recoiling from the global economic downturn.

Vranken, which announced the rise in a trading update today (20 January), saw sales slow in the third and fourth quarters, following a 3% increase in Champagne sales in the first half of 2008.

Its figures remain ahead of steeper declines for global Champagne sales, which fell by 6% during the first 11 months of 2008, according to the region's trade body, CIVC.

Producers have blamed the global economic crisis for weaker sales, as the financial sector, in particular, cuts back on corporate orders.

Vranken said today, however, that the current climate means that "more than ever, the world will need Champagne".