The French drinks producer Remy Cointreau has seen its revenues fall 1.9% in the year to 31 March compared to last year. Revenues reached €1.00 billion, down from €1.02 billion last year.

However Remy said that on a like-for-like basis - with exchange rate movements stripped out of the figures - its turnover for the year rose 5.1% to €1.06 billion.

"This sustained organic growth demonstrates the effectiveness of the marketing expenditure and highlights the dynamism of the Remy Cointreau brands as well as the Group's resilience in a difficult economic and business environment," the company said in a statement.

Remy said that Cognac sales had gained from a recovery in the 4th quarter, mainly in the US and China, following a highly satisfactory year end due to consumer demand. Sales rose by 3% in value terms and 4.6% in volume for the full year.

"The establishment of a new distribution organisation in China, which affected prices, resulted in an encouraging performance during the year with a 9% increase in volumes. Conditions were difficult in Europe, particularly in Germany, with an overall 5% decline in volumes. The sustained growth of Remy Martin in the US, with a 7% increase in volumes, in line with depletions, and the encouraging growth in emerging countries such as Russia, Korea and Mexico, highlight the dynamism of the brand," said the group.

Liqueurs were up 5.7% in value terms with Cointreau up 5.6%. In the US, Cointreau recorded growth in value and volume terms in excess of 10%.

In spirits, Remy said that vodka had suffered from stiff competition and its policy of chasing value in the medium term had impacted on volumes. Outside of vodka, spirits sales were up 3.6%.

The company also experienced a rebound in consumption of Champagne with a 7.7% growth in the 4th quarter in all major Champagne markets, in the US, France and UK as well as in Japan. Sales of Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck increased by 31% in volume terms during the period, mainly based on the recent launches of Piper-Heidsieck Rose Sauvage and Charles Heidsieck Mis en Cave 1998.