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FRANCE: Rémy Cointreau sees FY turnover rise - just

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Rémy Cointreau has posted a slight lift in full-year turnover.

The French Champagne and spirits group said today (17 April) that organic growth for the 12 months to 31 March came in 3.7% up year-on-year, hitting EUR785.4m (US$1.06bn). The company hailed the success of its premiumisation strategy for the increase.

While Rémy saw its Cognac brands bring in a 12% climb in organic growth - to EUR347.6m - sales of its partner brands continued their fall throughout the year, down 13.4% to EUR102.2m. Champagne produced EUR126.4m, a climb of 4.7% year-on-year, while liqueurs and spirits were flat, up just 0.4% to EUR209.2m.

The company's Rémy Martin Cognac brand enjoyed strong performances in China, the US and Russia, while liqueur and spirits were rocked by a reduction in transfer prices to Maxxium, its global distribution venture with Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Edrington Group and V&S Group.

Sales growth of Champagne brands Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, against a background of sustained price increases and an improvement in product mix and markets, compensated for the planned decline in secondary brands, the company noted.

Turning to its partner brands unit, Rémy noted a cessation of various distribution contracts since the end of last year - in the US (wines) and in Europe (duty-free in Germany) - accounted for the division's sales decline. In the US, however, the company highlighted Scotch whiskies, most notably The Famous Grouse and The Macallan, and Californian wines as continuing to grow while the initial success of Imperia vodka was encouraging.

"These results reflect the relevance of the group's strategy to focus on the strength of its brands and their move up market," the company said. "Rémy Cointreau confirms double-digit organic growth in current profit from operations for the 2006/07 financial year."

Preliminary results for the 2006/07 financial year will be announced on 25 June.

Late last year, Rémy announced that it was pulling out of Maxxium. The departure, scheduled for 2009, will cost Rémy EUR240m.


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