Vranken-Pommery Monopole fizzes on H1 rise

Vranken-Pommery Monopole fizzes on H1 rise

Vranken-Pommery Monopole has hailed a resurgence in consumer demand for Champagne after reporting a rebound in sales for its fiscal half-year.

Net sales, excluding the acquisition of wine group Domaines Listel, rose by 10% to EUR91.6m (US$118m) for the six months to the end of June, Vranken-Pommery Monopole said yesterday (22 July).

The rise shows a rebound from sales of EUR83m in the same period of last year, at the height of the economic downturn, and also progress on sales of EUR90.3m in the first half of 2008.  

Vranken-Pommery's figures round off a positive week for Champagne, with both Laurent-Perrier and Remy Cointreau reporting a lift in sales.

"The group is very satisfied with this performance," said Vranken-Pommery, which is the second largest of France's Champagne houses in terms of annual net sales and owns Pommery, Heidsieck & Co Monopole and Charles Lafitte brands.

The firm said it was "optimistic" about the the second half of 2010.

Rival Laurent-Perrier reported this week that its first quarter sales were softened by consumers trading down to cheaper bottlers.

Vranken-Pommery conceded that, "within the crisis, consumers have temporarily switched to cheaper brands".

However, it dismissed industry concerns that this could last for the longer term. "This phenomenon is now fading," said group president Paul-Francois Vranken.