Rémy Cointreau has posted a healthy rise in sales for its first fiscal quarter of 2007.

The French Champagne and spirits company said yesterday (18 July) that sales for the three months to the end of June were up by 11% year-on-year in organic terms, coming in at EUR158.7m (US$219.4m).

The lift was driven primarily by a 16.7% rise in sales at its Rémy Martin Cognac division, which generated sales of EUR71.2m for the period. Sales were particularly strong in China and Russia, the company said. Liqueurs and spirits brought in a 5.3% rise in sales to EUR45.8m, with Metaxa and Passoa recording the strongest increases. Champagne, meanwhile, saw sales increase by 5.6% to EUR20.4m.

The partner brands division also performed well, with sales rising by 10.5% to EUR21.3m. The growth of Scotch whiskies in the US and the development of Imperia vodka were credited with contributing to sales growth.

"These performances … are fully in line with Rémy Cointreau's value strategy and the guidance given by the company of further significant organic growth in operating profitability for the 2007/08 financial year," Rémy said.

The group warned, however, that the second quarter of the year represents less than 20% of annual sales and its contribution to profit remains limited. The value of the dollar against the euro also adversely affected sales growth, although the effect on gross margin has been limited by hedging put in place by the group prior.

A dividend of EUR1.20 is set to be proposed at Rémy's general meeting at the end of this month. Payment will be made on 11 September.