Laurent-Perrier Group has seen a fall in its nine-month revenues, hit by the slowing economy and strong competition.

The Champagne house said today (5 February) that revenues for the nine months to the end of December reached EUR155m (US$199m), a decrease at constant exchange rates of 23.9%.

However, despite the deteriorating market in the third quarter, the sales trend of the group showed a slight improvement over the second quarter, particularly for the Laurent-Perrier brand, the company said.

In early 2008, the company changed its sales policy with new pricing for its high-end Champagne whilst focussing on selective distribution channels.

The company said that this policy has resulted in lower volumes than were expected in the short term. Furthermore, sales had also slowed thanks to the economy and an increase in competition.

A decrease in sales of prestige Champagnes, especially in the US and Japan, has affected the proportion of high-end sales.

Exports of the brand Laurent-Perrier rose by almost 2 percentage points.