The French Champagne and hotels group, Taittinger SA, posted a net profit for the first half of 2003 of €8.1m, down 2.8% from the €8.4m it posted in the first half of last year.

The company attributed the decline to a drop in hotel bookings as tourist figures declined. Operating profit fell from €42.9m to €32.6m on sales 4.8% lower at €354.9m.

Champagne sales increased by 2% to €38.3m but operating profit at the company's Champagne division fell by 5.4% to €5.4m.