• Sales up by 12% in Q3
  • Group still lags 2007 figures
  • Profits remain a concern
Laurent-Perrier still has work to do, despite strong Q3 sales

Laurent-Perrier still has work to do, despite strong Q3 sales

Laurent-Perrier has reported a stronger rise in Champagne sales than some of its rivals in the final three months of 2010, but the group still lagged its pre-crisis performance.

Laurent-Perrier's net sales increased by around 13% to EUR84.2m (US$114.2m) for the three months to the end of December, the French group's fiscal third quarter. The increase shows that Laurent-Perrier strongly outperformed the likes of Moet Hennessy and Vranken-Pommery Monopole over the same period.

The group has improved on momentum in the third quarter of last year, when net sales increased by 7%. Consumer demand for higher-priced Champagne has rebounded in key export markets such as the UK and US, Laurent-Perrier said yesterday (10 February).

However, volume sales still rose faster than value. Volumes increased by 15% for the third quarter, leading to a drop in price/mix. Net sales for the period also remained below pre-crisis levels, with sales having reached EUR94.4m in the three months to the end of December 2007.

Laurent-Perrier does not release figures for third quarter profits, but it said that full-year operating profits would likely show improvement on last year. It has also made progress in cutting debt, it said.

A slump in profits has been a concern at Laurent-Perrier in the last couple of years. For the first half of the current fiscal year, net profits leapt by 71% to EUR2.96m. However, net profits slid by 85% to EUR1.73m in the same period of the previous year and by 35% in the first six months of the year before that.     

Laurent-Perrier's net sales for the first nine months of its current year increased by almost 18%, to EUR165.4m, with volumes up by almost 26%. Net sales for the same period in the 2007-08 fiscal year, prior to the financial crisis, reached EUR209.8m.