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FRANCE: Vranken-Pommery toasts 2007 profit rise

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Vranken-Pommery Monopole has posted a lift in profits for 2007.

The French Champagne group said yesterday (2 April) that profit last year totalled EUR18.5m (US$28.8m), an increase of 12.8% on 2006. Operating profit followed suit, climbing by 13.1% year-on-year to EUR49.8m. The profit rises came on the back of a 6.9% increase in sales for 2007, which came in at EUR286.8m.

"2007 confirmed Vranken-Pommery Monopole's ability to improve margins as well as sales of its leading international brands, which enjoyed double-digit growth," said company chairman and CEO Paul-François Vranken. "Given current worldwide Champagne consumption and the likelihood that it will continue to increase over the medium term, we are committed to pursuing our growth strategy in 2008."

Net debt in the year increased to EUR476m from EUR430m, due to the group's "sustained growth strategy", which led to targeted purchases of vineyards and a strategic build-up in inventories to offset current shortages.

In the Pacific region, 2008 is shaping up as a "very satisfactory year" in light of an agreement signed with distributors, projects undertaken by Vranken-Pommery's Japanese subsidiary and the "solid start-up" of operations in other countries.

Based on early-year trends, which are in line with the corresponding period in 2007, the group said it remains confident and intends to pursue its strategic focus on growth and higher margins in 2008.

The company's board has proposed a dividend of EUR1.35 per share, up from EUR1.25 in 2006. The dividend will be put to shareholders at the company's AGM on 11 June, with payment scheduled for 15 July.


Sectors: Wine

Companies: Vranken-Pommery Monopole

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