Leading luxury goods group Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) has announced a consolidated sales increase of 12% in the first half of 2001, compared to the first half of 2000.

Commenting on its wine and spirits division the company said: "Sales in wines and spirits improved in the second quarter 2001 to reach E5643m (US$4.7bn) and heavy stocking at distributor level continued to weigh on sales of Champagne, especially in the US. However, there are signs that these stock levels are falling.

"Continued strong demand in the US and Asia (outside Japan) saw Cognac registered sales rise by 8% to E403m. All of our Cognac ranges (VS, VSOP, XO) registered double digit growth in the North US market."

The LVMH portfolio of brands includes Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Pommery, Chateau d'Yquem, Chandon, Hennessy and Hine.