LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has seen a slowdown in wine and spirits sales during its third quarter.

The French luxury powerhouse said today (17 October) that sales from the division had risen 12% to EUR1.9bn (US$2.4bn) during the first nine months of the year.

The result contrasted to the 16% leap in sales that LVMH's beverage alcohol business had enjoyed during the first half.

UK investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort said rival spirits producers had suggested that the slowdown could be due to Scotch whisky becoming a growing threat to Cognac sales. The bank added, however, that it was "too early to say whether a firm trend has set in".

LVMH said that sales of Hennessy Cognac had risen by 9% over the last nine months, thanks to growth in the US and China.

The company pointed to "excellent performances" from its Champagne portfolio in Europe and Japan.