Champagne producer, Laurent-Perrier, posted net attributable profit for the year to March 31 of €12.1m ($11.21m), down by 12.3% from the last fiscal year. The company recently reported sales for the year of €150.8m, 2.7% up on last year. However, Laurent-Perrier's net profit was ahead of analysts' forecasts which had been in region of €11.7m. Operating profit fell by 7.2% to €27.3m.

Laurent-Perrier, which produces the Laurent-Perrier, Salon, Delamotte and Vicomte de Castellane brands and is the largest company exclusively concerned with Champagne, said it expected sales volumes to pick up in the current fiscal year with the market recovering from post-millennial overstocking and the effects of September 11.

"In 2002/03, consumption, in other words the number of bottles opened and drunk, should go in the right direction in France and Europe," the company said in a statement. "In the United States, the events of September 11 only temporarily affected consumption. Champagne is showing growth there and stocks are being used up. Professionals estimate that exporters of the big labels should once again do well."