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FRANCE: Lanson-BCC Champagne momentum stutters in FY

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Lanson-BCC has seen net sales creep forward for 2011, but Champagne volumes fell and the group remains below its peak prior to the financial crisis.

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Lanson-BCC said today (8 February) that, for the 12 months to the end of December, net sales rose by 1.6%, to EUR310m (US$410.6m). Although the firm is cycling an 11% sales rise from 2010, the slowdown in momentum will add to evidence that the Champagne sector's recovery is levelling out

Lanson-BCC's volume sales fell by 7.7% versus 2010, against a total Champagne industry that is expected to report volumes up by 1.4% for the year, to 324m bottles. Of its own sales, Lanson-BCC said: "This performance is lower than the initial targets set, but still satisfactory considering the decline in consumption during the second part of the year."

The French group's net sales remain below the EUR359.4m figure achieved in 2007, the last full calendar year prior to the global financial downturn. However, in the fourth quarter of 2011, Lanson-BCC's net sales rose faster than in the year as a whole. Fourth-quarter sales, which account for around 45% of annual sales, increased by 2.3% to EUR140.7m.

Profits figures will not be released until 26 March. But, Lanson-BCC said: "Despite the increase in the cost price of bottles sold over the year, a positive price mix effect should enable the group to maintain a satisfactory level of earnings."

Lanson-BCC's share price was unmoved by the sales announcement.


Sectors: Company results, Wine

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