Rémy Cointreau has today (20 April) confirmed its forecast of a double-digit leap in operating profit after reporting rising revenues for fiscal 2006.

The French group said consolidated sales - after stripping out contributions from assets it sold in the last 12 months such as its Bols spirits business - rose 6.4% to EUR802m (US$991m). On an organic basis, excluding the effect of currency fluctuations, sales rose 4.2%.

Rémy, whose brands include Rémy Martin Cognac and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, saw all its divisions contribute to the rising sales it saw during the year to 31 March. Cognac revenues inched up 0.5%, while sales from its liqueurs and spirits business rose 1.3%. Champagne sales, however, increased by 4.6%.

"It reflected the commercial dynamism of the group's key brands in its major international markets, and the relevance of its refocused strategy," the company said. In the last 12 months, Rémy has sold of a number of what it viewed as non-core assets to focus on its range of premium brands.

Rémy noted that its Cognac and Champagne labels showed accelerated growth in the fourth quarter, remarking that this performance was against a "high comparative base" in the last three months of fiscal 2005.

The company saw the strongest growth from its stable of partner brands, labels owned by its fellow partners in the Maxxium distribution network. Sales leapt by 20.4%, leading Rémy to add that "the remarkable double-digit growth for the year was sustained by the dynamism of the Scotch whiskies The Famous Grouse and The Macallan as well as Californian wines in the US".