All the figures produced by the four major cognac houses are showing that each is managing to defy the global downturn, boasting increased turnover not only in quantity, but in value as well.

The successes of Remy Martin and Martell have been well documented of late in the press, who boast increased sales of 23 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.  Of course, the media (and the industry) are also interested in the actual amount of cognac being sold.  At this point in 2010, the top 10 cognac group’s total volume was up 5.6 per cent on the previous year, according to specialist data collector magazine, Impact International.

The Big Four Cognac Houses

Courvoisier is currently boasting a volume growth of 16.1 per cent, but outselling them all is Hennessy.  Part of the LVMH group, Hennessy not only is the most purchased cognac in the world, but ranks as number three in the most profitable spirits list, say Impact International, sitting respectable behind Johnny Walker Scotch Whiskey and Smirnoff Vodka.  Hennessy’s figures were 4.2 million cases with a value of $2.37 billion US dollars.

Remy Martin were in 14th place with 1.9 million cases and $1.09 million US dollars. Martell was in in 29th place (1.5 million cases and $655 million), followed by Courvoisier in 51st place (1 million cases and $445 million).

However another magazine – Drinks International – published a similar list, although this one is based purely on volume.
Their results came in with Hennessy in 44th place with 4.65 million cases (+ 9.5 per cent), Remy Martin at 111th (1.75 million cases – +19.9 per cent), Martell in 118th place (1.65 million cases – + 6.1 per cent), and Courvoisier in 147th place (1.2 million cases – + 17.6 per cent).

Mind you, all these figures become quickly outdated in cognac country. 2011 saw a great surge in cognac exports, and up until July the all-time historical record was close to being broken. However, there has been a small respite over the past few months, although at the end of September figures were looking good. So we shall have to wait and see what the final holiday period of the year brings before the figures for this year can be finally calculated.

Sources:, Drinks International, BNIC

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.


  1. Avatar

    I love the fact that Hennessy outsells all of them and it’s the only liquor I drink for quality and taste; yet bartenders always try to get me to drink something different. I’ll stick with the best.

  2. Avatar

    Mike, Hennessy might be the most profitable cognac producer and the best in marketing their cognacs, especially in the US and now more and more in Asia… but the best cognacs come from mid-sized producers.

  3. Avatar
    Ole Cigar

    After paying usd 50 for the bottle,
    usd 10 goes to profits for the owners
    usd 5 for that fancylooking bottle
    usd 10 for that worldwide marketingcampaign
    + tax and all operational & administrative costs;

    what is left for quality of the cognac?

    The big four comes out at the bottom of that list in terms of what you pay for the quality.

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