Boizel Chanoine Champagne has posted a marked rise in net profit for last year.

The French company, which acquired Groupe Lanson International in early-2006, said yesterday (17 March) that net profit in 2007 leapt by 44.3% on 2006, coming in at EUR21.4m (US$33.8m).

Last month, Boizel Chanoine said that sales in 2007 rose by 15.4% year-on-year to EUR359.4m.

"(Results in) 2007 notably factor in the cost of 12 months financing for the (Lanson) acquisition, as well as the cost of stock for the new subsidiaries (compared with nine months in 2006)," the company said.

On a pro-forma basis, which gives a better guideline to the company's performance, net profit was up by 14.1%, with sales rising by 2.4% on 2006.

The sales result factors in the balance for the stock reduction programme, representing EUR37m in 2007, compared to EUR45m in 2006. Independent of the volume taken out of stock, 21.7m bottles were sold over the year, compared with 21m in 2006, a volume lift of 3.3%.

Export revenues accounted for 46% of total volumes, compared with 45% in 2006, Boizel said.

Looking forward, the company said it expects volumes to remain stable, with profits rising "thanks to the continued improvement of productivity on one hand, and product mix on the other".

Boizel Chanoine is hoping to pay a dividend of EUR0.40 per share in June.