The French drinks group Remy Cointreau has been hit by a 21% fall in revenue in the first quarter of its financial year, affected by the effects of SARS on tourism in Asia, which hurt its Cognac operations. The company also suffered from the weak US dollar.

For the period April to June revenue reached only € 168m, compared to €212m for the same period a year ago. The number was well below analysts expectations of around €194m.

Revenues in its Cognac operations fell 35% to €49.4m, while the weak dollar hit US operatiosn from where Remy usually sees around 40% of its revenue. .

In a statement the company called this a "year of consolidation" but said it would continue to put money behind advertising and promotion at "a high level" so as to return to growth from this autumn.