Champagne house Laurent-Perrier has seen sales in its first quarter drop by a fifth, as the group enters what it has described as a "transition period".


Sales fell to EUR41.8m (US$65.7m) in the three months to 30 June, compared to EUR53.5m for the same period last year, Laurent-Perrier announced.


The group said it had anticipated the dip, which was a consequence of a new commercial strategy designed to make its flagship brand more exclusive in the long-term. "The first quarter does not reflect the wider picture," Laurent-Perrier said.


Prices for Laurent-Perrier rose in the quarter by 17% and distribution channels have been slimmed down.


It remained unclear whether the moves were related to concerns about tight Champagne supplies amid growing demand.


Pernod Ricard said yesterday (24 July) that it had exhausted supplies of its Mumm Champagne brand for the domestic French market in its recent full-year.