Poor sales in the US market have dragged down revenue at Marnier-Lapostolle by 16% in the first nine months of 2008, the French firm has said.

Sales fell to EUR88m (US$118m)  for the nine months ended 30 September, Marnier Lapostolle said today (17 October). Revenue fell more steeply in the third quarter, down by EUR10m to EUR30.4m for the period.

The slide means the French drinks group, which owns the Grand Marnier liqueur, is set to miss its expectations for the year, it said.

Troubled times in the US, Grand Marnier's biggest market, and an unfavourable currency rate were mostly to blame for the revenue fall, the group announced.

US sales for the nine months droppped by EUR14m, compared to the same period last year, while sales to the rest of the world fell EUR2.5m.