Remy Cointreau announced its end of year sales today, with an 18 per cent drop in profits from the previous year thanks to a gross impairment on its Greek Metaxa arm.  Tough economic times in Greece saw the market fall by 45 million euros as consumers bought fewer bottles from its whisky and wine based spirit.

However, Remy Martin cognac saw a 12.1 percent increase – thanks to the strong demand in Asia – and this helped lift the companies full year profits.

Cointreau

The full net income was 70.5 million euros ($103 US dollars) as opposed to 86.3 million euros the previous year.  However, when Metaxa is excluded from the calculations, net profits rose 16.7 percent this year.

Chief executive Jean-Marie Laborde said that the demand in Asia for premium cognac has provided key growth, along with strong Russian sales, the travel market and the recovery in the USA and Europe.  He stated “this will continue in the coming months.  I have a very good feeling about the first quarter.”

Indeed, the company is so positive that they handed investors a special dividend and have stated that prospects for this year appear bright in all regions.

But analysts who were keen to hear how Remy were going to use the cash from the sale of their champagne division were left disappointed, as Laborde failed to give much away on this subject.  When pushed by journalists he was emphatic that the company had no interest in acquiring any vodka or tequila brands.  But he did say that they would continue to invest heavily in its current brands and would increase prices in all regions.

Sources: www.reuters.com, www.bloomberg.com

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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.

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