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LVMH set to rebound
22 mai 2002
The LVMH group (Hennessy cognac) intends to favor its star brands in order to put its accounts back in order following a 20 % drop in operating profit in 2001. 800 million euros’ worth of non-strategic assets are scheduled for disposal in order to reduce the debt load (6.9 billion euros of debt). A leap in net profits in excess of 10 % is expected this year.

Rencontres de Cognac
22 mai 2002
Jean-Paul Guerlain, the president of the latest Rencontres du luxe et son emballage trade fair (luxury goods and packaging) in Cognac, has presented the François 1 "Saveurs gourmandes" award to Saint-Gobain Desjonquères for the "Camus Extra" cognac. ""Rémy Space" has received a special mention in the Limited Edition series.

Marie Brizard in good shape
15 mai 2002
The Marie Brizard group (Gautier cognac) recorded losses in 2001 of 4.3 million euros and turnover down from 230.4 million euros in 2000 to 220.6 million last year. Even so, Marie Brizard’s operating profit rose by 36 % to 13.5 million euros thanks to its restructuring program and it expects to return to growth.

Reduced sales at Sabaté Diosos
1er mai 2002
The Sabaté Diosos group (Radoux cooperage at Jonzac in Charente-Maritime and Seguin Moreau at Merpins in the Charente) has recorded a drop in sales in the first half-year of barrels (from 31.1 million euros at the start of 2001 to 25.7 million) and of corks (from 29.8 to 25.3 million. This drop may be explained by the gloomy state of the world wine market.

Hennessy : wage claims
1er mai 2002
Employees at Hennessy, who would like to benefit from the company profits, have criticized the ceiling set on bonuses and profit-sharing at 20 % of gross annual salary.

Martell sales drop by 15 %
24 avril 2002
Pernod-Ricard has announced a drop in the first quarter of sales of brands bought from Seagram, notably Martell (-18 %) and Chivas whisky (-15 %) as a result of overstocking of 450,000 and 750,000 bottles respectively by retailers. Pernod-Ricard, whose share price has fallen by 3.5 %, is not ruling out calling for compensation from the seller (Vivendi Universal) and does not expect sales of these brands ro recover before 2003.

Restructuring for Château-Paulet
24 avril 2002
A restructuring plan is to be put in place by Château-Paulet at Châteauneuf (26 employees) which produces pineau and cognac and owns Cointreau. Château-Paulet has posted negative results and turnover of 4 million euros, dropping since 1998. Early retirement and retraining are projected.

Future of cognac in cocktails and long drinks ?
17 avril 2002
he future of cognac may lie in cocktails and long drinks. Elsewhere in the world cognac is already drunk mainly in cocktails and long drinks and is proving popular with young people, whereas in Europe it suffers from its old-fashioned image as an after-dinner drink. Initiatives such as "Pure White" from Hennessy or cocktails such as Remy Silver or Remy Red are a move in this direction. "Les Echos" also looks at the situation concerning over-production, the failure of the vine reduction plan and ideas to convert part of the vineyards into the production of table wines, about which some specialists are skeptical, preferring once again the option of long drinks and cocktails.

Camus stands firm
17 avril 2002
Cyril and Jean-Baptiste represent the fifth generation of the family in Camus, the fifth-largest cognac house, but which is run by Loik Rousset, which is turning more and more to the upmarket sector (40 % of sales). Turnover has fallen sharply (from 66 million euros in 97-98 to only 35 million in 2000-2001) but profitability has improved. 1.2 million euros have just been invested to reorganize the bottling line.

Hennessy’s plea
17 avril 2002
In order to silence criticism of its purchasing policy, managers at Hennessy claim to offer the best prices, on average 10 % more than other cognac houses.

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