The German sparkling wine company Henkell & Sohnlein saw its turnover for 2003 fall to €474m from  €624m, as total sales fell 19% to 212.3m bottles (0.75 l), the German press reported today.

However, in the reports chairman Hans-Henning Wiegmann said that the company's earnings situation was "quite good" but declined to go into details. It was added that the first five months of 2004 were positive.

The company was hit hard by losing distribution rights to energy drink Red Bull and the soft drink Carpe Diem.

If this had not been the case sales would have declined by only 4.3%.