Metaxa 12 Stars has been credited with helping to drive the broader Metaxa stable for Remy Cointreau

Metaxa 12 Stars has been credited with helping to drive the broader Metaxa stable for Remy Cointreau

The usual suspect got first mention in this week's analysts' notes following the release of Remy Cointreau's YTD fiscal-2018 sales results on Friday: The Remy Martin Cognac House continues to report solid performances in key regions including China and the US.

After dealing with the engine room at Remy Cointreau, analysts took a closer look at what else is driving the business. And, Greek spirit Metaxa appears to be stirring some excitement.

In its results release, Remy said Metaxa, which sits in the Liqueurs & Spirits reporting division, "confirmed its momentum at the end of December, thanks to the success of '12 Stars' within its primary markets". The 12 Stars expression recently enjoyed a makeover, which the company touted in previous results as helping to drive sales

Liberum analysts add that the company "continues to see strength, with Metaxa delivering strong results in Central Europe, Russia, and Germany".

Speaking of Russia, Societe Generale analyst Laurence Whyatt says that the return of the Russian traveller is good news for the Greek spirit. "Beyond Cognac in China and the US," he writes, "we see positivity from the return of the Russian traveller in the duty free segment (and in Russia itself) as Russians spend around twice as much in travel retail as average."

"This is particularly helpful for Metaxa, which over-indexes amongst Russians."

According to Liberum, Metaxa was also launched in China in December - so we can expect to see more momentum for the brand in 2018.

For Jefferies analyst Edward Mundy, Metaxa's credentials as a brown spirit fit nicely in Remy's premium plan. "With 76% of its business in Cognac, rising to over 80% if other brown spirits Metaxa, St Remy, Mount Gay, Islay Spirits are included," Mundy says, "Remy offers a highly-attractive portfolio that is well-positioned to capitalise on the premiumisation trend."

Metaxa may be a relative acorn compared to the mighty Remy Martin, but you know what they say about acorns.

Remy Cointreau nine months fiscal-2018 - results data