Laurent-Perrier has lowered its full-year forecasts, due to sliding volumes in its third quarter.

The French Champagne house said late last week that sales for the year to the end of March are now expected to come in between 5% and 7% up on 2006-2007, down from the previous estimate of 6%-8% growth.

The revision comes on the back of a 2.1% drop in reported sales for the pre-Christmas quarter, traditionally the busiest period for Champagne companies. Laurent-Perrier blamed rising prices and falling volumes for prompting the revision.

The company, however, maintained its belief that its full-year results should register an improvement on the corresponding period a year earlier.

While third quarter sales fell to EUR94.4m (US$136.8m) from EUR96.4m 12 months previous, sales in the first nine months of the fiscal year climbed by 6.7% to EUR209.8m. A 7.6% increase in prices helped offset a 0.1% slip in volumes, the company concluded.