Champagne house and distributor Vranken-Pommery Monopole has said it can maintain growth this year, after confirming a a 3.4% sales rise in the first half of 2008.

Vranken-Pommery said today (16 September) that its directors had signed off on the results, which saw sales hit EUR90.3m (US$141.5m) for the first six months of this year.

International demand drove company growth, with Champagne export sales up 15.6% during the period.

A worsening economic climate may make life tougher for Champagne houses in the second half of this year. Total Champagne shipments  in the first half of 2008 fell 2.8%, compared to the same period last year, according to Champagne trade body CIVC.

Vranken noted, however, that it remains confident: "Based on the good level of first-half business and the orders booked for delivery in the second half, the group remains confident that the current growth momentum will be maintained throughout the rest of the year," the company said.