FRANCE: Rémy Cointreau posts strong full year lift

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Rémy Cointreau has posted a rise in full-year turnover, its strongest organic performace since 2000.

The French Champagne and spirits group said today (17 April) that organic growth for the 12 months to 31 March came in 9.7% up year-on-year, hitting EUR817.8m (US$1.30bn). On a reported basis, growth stood at 4%.

In the fourth quarter alone, the group's growth was 15.6%.

"In Asia, sales growth remained very strong. Europe also delivered a good performance and the US retained its momentum. The price increases announced for 2008/09 also contributed to some early orders," the French company said. 

Rémy said it Cognac business rose 11.5% with a lift "of 20.5% in the fourth quarter, benefiting from a strong Chinese New Year". Growth in Europe was driven by Russia and Benelux, while the US retained its momentum, a statement said.

In Champagne organic growth reached 15.4% Piper-Heidsieck achieved the strongest growth in Benelux, the UK, the US, Germany and Spain, while Charles Heidsieck grew well in France, Benelux and the UK and began to develop in Asia. Liqueurs and spirits were up just 4.3% to EUR211.7m.

Turning to its partner brands unit, Rémy noted that Russian Standard vodka as well as Edrington Scotch Whiskies continued to grow strongly in the US market.

"These results confirm the group's guidance of significant organic growth in Rémy Cointreau's current operating profit for the 2007/08 financial year," the company said.

Preliminary results for the 2007/08 financial year will be announced on 24 June.

In 2006, Rémy announced that it was pulling out of Maxxium. The departure, scheduled for 2009, will cost Rémy EUR240m.

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