French drinks group, Pernod Ricard, has said that it may delay the planned relaunch of its Martell Cognac brand in the US because of current anti-French feeling among US consumers stemming from France's stance on Iraq.

"I'm reasonably optimistic and confident but it's possible we might have to delay the relaunch in the US," said Pernod Ricard's chairman, Patrick Ricard.

Martell Cognac sales fell by 11% in 2002 to 1m cases as a result of overstocking problems. Pernod Ricard is currently in the midst of a major restructuring at the Cognac company which will result in 140 redundancies.