Remy Cointreau Q1 sales jump

Remy Cointreau Q1 sales jump

China's continued thirst for premium Cognac has helped Remy Cointreau's first quarter sales to rebound strongly as the group's Champagne division struggled to regain lost ground.

Net sales for the three months to the end of June rose by 19%, and by 24% including currency gains, to EUR170.9m (US$217.8m), Remy Cointreau said today (22 July).

A 38% rise in like-for-like Cognac sales helped the French drinks group to rebound from net sales of EUR138.3m in the first quarter of last year and overtake sales of EUR149.9m in the same period of 2008.

"The good growth by Rémy Martin continued to benefit from the highly positive dynamics in China and in Travel Retail," said the firm.

There were also signs that western markets have improved from a recession-hit 2009, with Remy reporting limited sales rises in the US and Europe for the quarter.

Champagne sales also showed signs of life, rising by almost 21% for the quarter to EUR16.7m. Sales rose by 23% on the previous year if currency gains are included.

However, it remains too early to talk of a recovery in the firm's Champagne division. Sales crumpled by 40% in the first quarter of last year.

"The Champagne division achieved renewed growth, particularly in France and Europe, whereas Japan and Australia were impacted by high inventory levels," said Remy.

The firm noted that the economic environment remained "uncertain".