A strong surge in the final quarter allowed French drinks group, Remy Cointreau, to post a 10% rise in revenue for the 12 months to the end of March.

The company, which owns Remy Martin Cognac and Cointreau as well as other spirits and Champagne brands, recorded revenue of EUR1.02 billion for the year, against EUR925.6 million the year before. The result was broadly in line with analysts' forecasts.

Sales had surged by 21% in the final quarter, the company said, strongly suggesting that it had ridden out the 2001 slowdown. "The strong sales rise in total activities in the fourth quarter is a source of optimism for 2002/2003," the group said in a statement. The company attributed the successful performance to its "strategy, ability to adapt to changing markets and its strong brand offerings".

Sales of spirits were 7.5% higher in 2001/2002 while liqueur sales rose by 6.1%. However, Champagne sales fell by 20.3%. Cognac sales, which represent around a third of the group's sales, rose by 1.1% to EUR379.8m.