Wine and spirits exports from France hit a new record last year, according to figures released this week.

Combined sales for the two categories rose by 8.7% last year, coming in at EUR11.7bn (US$13.2bn), trade association the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiritueux de France (FEVS) said yesterday. The figures mark a reversal of last year's second consecutive annual slide in exports, in both value and volume terms.

The performance was largely due to positive exchange rate effects linked to the depreciation of the Euro against the currencies of French producers' main trading partners. Around 60% of exports in value terms were generated outside the EU, FEVS said.

French wine exports by value increased by 6.7% to EUR7.9bn, thanks mainly to growth in Champagne sales - up by 12.1% and 4.8% in value and volumes, respectively.

Overall, wine volumes were down 3.6% on 2014.

Spirits exports in volume terms fell by 3.7% but, in stark contrast, the value of sales jumped by 13.2%, the first rise since 2012.

Cognac was the stand-out performer, with exports increasing by 19.6% and 9.4% in value and volumes, respectively.