• Net sales up 23% in H1
  • Profits boosted by lower charges
  • Pricing still a concern
Laurent-Perrier predicts a "new growth period" for Champagne

Laurent-Perrier predicts a "new growth period" for Champagne

Rebounding demand for Champagne outside of France has boosted both sales and profits for Laurent-Perrier in the first six months of its fiscal year, even though consumers have continued to pay less for the group's Champagne brands.

Laurent-Perrier's net sales rose by 23% for the six months to the end of September, to EUR81.2m (US$105.6m), the group announced today (1 December). Sales rose faster in the second quarter and the group's president, Michel Boulaire, predicted a "a new growth period" for Champagne following tough times in the global recession.

Profits for the half-year leapt by 71% on the same period of last year, to EUR2.96m, predominantly driven by lower interest charges as a result of lower net debt. Operating profits rose by 10% to EUR10m.

A rebound in key export markets, particularly the UK and US, boosted Laurent-Perrier over the six months.

But, the group's results did little to ease concerns in the Champagne sector about pricing. Consumers continued to buy Laurent-Perrier Champagne at cheaper prices during the half-year, as shown by contrasting the group's 23% rise in value sales with a 38% jump in volume sales. The gap narrowed considerably in the second quarter, but price/mix still fell by 15% for the six months.

Laurent-Perrier predicted slower sales growth in the second-half due to a "less favourable comparison" with the previous year. It added that it is preparing to "expand into new regions where Champagne consumption is expected to gain momentum".