Remy Cointreau has today posted a drop in H1 net profit despite one-off gains from asset sales in the period. The French drinks maker posted a drop in net profit for the six months to the end of September of 18% to €35.4m (US$43.3m) from €43.1m year-on-year.

Remy, whose most well-known brands are Remy Martin Cognac and Cointreau liquer, blamed the dollar's weakness and a drop in travel due to war in Iraq and the outbreak of SARS. Over a third of Remy's sales occur in the Americas and the euro's strength has hit the company hard.

The company booked €11.3m in one-off asset sales during the six-month period. The earnings were also below the €43.7m forecast by analysts. Remy's first-half revenue dropped by 13% to €414.7m.

Remy did not make any profit from one-off items in the first half of 2002, so the drop in earnings was steeper than figures suggest.

The company plans to cut costs, raise prices and boost its promotional activity in the hope that it can return to organic growth in profit in the second half.