The Laurent-Perrier Group has posted a slower lift in sales as the first nine months of its fiscal year have progressed.

The Champagne company, which is listed on the French stock exchange, said late last week that sales between April and December rose by 6.7% on the corresponding period a year earlier, coming in at EUR209.8m (US$306.1m). Sales in the third quarter, however, slid by 2.1% year-on-year, due to slowing volumes. Laurent-Perrier blamed the drop on a 7.6% climb in its price/mix effect over the nine months.

"In line with its strategy of controlled development, focussed on value, the group manages the evolution of all its brands' volumes with a dual objective," the company said. "Constantly increasing the share of premium products in its sales and ensuring its Champagnes remain of the highest quality by respecting the necessary ageing period."

The group noted a 1% lift in the share of sales delivered in export markets, which now stands at 72%, while the share contributed by premium products to sales was up by 2% to nearly 40% of all sales.

Subsequent to the slowing sales, Laurent-Perrier said it expects sales growth for the full fiscal year of between 5% and 7%, down from the previous forecast of between 6% and 8%.

Sales results for the year to the end of March will be announced in May, with full figures, including profits, available in June.