Cognac producer, Martell & Co, is to cut around one-quarter of its workforce as part of a restructuring move.

The job cuts (113 out of total of 465) concern the Martell and Renault-Bisquit brands.

Restructuring will centre largely on the regrouping of bottling plants at Renault-Bisquit's site at Rouillac, in the Cognac heartland.

On acquiring Martell from Seagram at the end of last year, Pernod Ricard discovered surplus stocks totalling around 450,000 litres of Martell Cognac, the equivalent of between 3% and 4.5% of annual volumes. This led to a drop in output of 18% in the first quarter of 2002.

Martell is also reported to be overstocked with eaux-de-vie, having earlier this year announced it would be reducing by half its purchases from the 2002-2003 harvest.