Champagne resists crisis in 2011, outlook prudent

PARIS Tue Jan 3, 2012 9:55am IST

A man corks a champagne bottle as he participates in the White Dinner in Quebec City August 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger/Files

A man corks a champagne bottle as he participates in the White Dinner in Quebec City August 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mathieu Belanger/Files

Stocks

   

PARIS (Reuters) - French champagne sales managed to weather the economic crisis in 2011, expecting to show 3.5 percent growth thanks to exports to the United States and emerging countries, but a slowdown is in sight, the champagne trade association said on Monday.

The Comite Interprofessionel des Vins de Champagne estimated that about 330 million bottles of the fizzy drink were dispatched in 2011 when prices were up 3 to 5 percent on average. That would take sales close to the record year of 2007 when 339 million bottles were sold and revenues reached 4.5 billion euros.

"The year 2011 was a good year, which continues the catching-up that happened in 2010 after two years of strong decline ...," said CIVC spokesman Thibaut Le Mailloux.

Champagne sales in 2010 rose nearly 9 percent, recovering from a drop of 5 percent in 2008 and of 9 percent in 2009.

The CIVC, which should publish final figures in the next weeks, expects sales to grow 2 percent a year in the next three years as Europe's economic crisis weighs on consumer spending.

The trade association expects sales in France, which harbours the most avid drinker of champagne with 55 percent of total volumes last year, to remain stable this year. In Britain, champagne's biggest export market, demand should slump with household budgets tight due to the government's austerity measures.

Still, buoyant demand in the United States, champagne's second export market, as well as in emerging countries such as China and Brazil, should help offset overall sluggishness in Europe.

The champagne market is dominated by luxury group LVMH (LVMH.PA), which owns the Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart and Krug brands. Specialist champagne makers include Lanson-BCC (LAN.PA), Vranken (VRKP.PA) or Laurent Perrier (LPER.PA) as well as drinks group Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) with its Mumm and Perrier-Jouet brands.

(Reporting by Pascale Denis; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Celebrity

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Jolie Likes Directing

Jolie Likes Directing

Jolie says she likes directing - but is not through acting  Full Article 

Cobain Documentary

Cobain Documentary

Authorized documentary on Nirvana's Kurt Cobain to air on HBO  Full Article 

Gathering Of 'Elves'

Gathering Of 'Elves'

Santa's little helpers break world record in Bangkok  Full Article 

Latin American Auction

Latin American Auction

Mexican surrealists top Latin American auction, Botero sets record  Full Article 

Swedish Merlot

Swedish Merlot

Warmer world boosts Nordic tipples  Full Article 

Photo

Canada Sex Lawsuit

Canada radio host drops lawsuit against broadcaster in sex scandal case  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage