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Cognac : bad results in March
5 mai 1999
Sales of cognac have fallen by 4.9 % since the start of the year with a 5.9 % drop in exports. The American market has grown by 1 % in volume but has fallen by 15.7 % in value. Japan is continuing to decline with -40 % in volume and -37 % in value whereas the Singapore market has fallen by 7 % and 33.4 % respectively.

Marie-Brizard : family loses control
5 mai 1999
Seventeen financiers have injected over 150 million francs in equity into Marie-Brizard (which controls Gautier cognac at Aigre in the Charente) to enable it to reduce its substantial debts.

Marnier-Lapostolle imports its Chilean wine
27 avril 1999
The Marnier-Lapostolle group (eaux-de-vie and spirits at Bourg-Charente) has just finished the sixth harvest on its 300 hectare estate in Chile. In five years, the turnover of wines sold under the label "Casa Lapostolle" has risen to 43 million francs with 45 % of sales in the US. The Chilean wines are matured in barrels from the Vicard and Seguin-Moreau cooperages and the presentation cases for "Clos Atalpa" are produced by Woodbox at Fléac. Moreover, the Chilean subsidiary will be marketing several of its wines from June in restaurants and wine retailers.

Frapin in export field
27 avril 1999
The Frapin cognac house (turnover 26.5 million francs in 1998, about thirty employees at Segonzac) exports 95 % of its production including 60 % to Europe and 10 % to America. Frapin has increased its volume of sales to the US by 24 %.

Viticulture : shared payments !
27 avril 1999
The payments in exchange for uprooting vines as part of the Charente viticulture re-conversion plan will have to be shared between wine growers and lessors on the basis of individual negotiations. Moreover, they will be "fully taxed" according to Franck Roussel, a specialist in land law. In another move, Jacques Berthomeau, who has been sent by the Ministry of Agriculture to speed up the process of wine growing diversification, is a sort of viticultural "Red Adair". He has already intervened in other wine-growing areas such as Rivesaltes.

Hennessy 2000
27 avril 1999
The special works council, which was held on 21 April at the Hennessy cognac house in Cognac, concerning the loss of 159 jobs (out of 760) anticipated by the "Hennessy 2000" project, failed to convince the unions. They consider the number to be excessive. Three works councils are scheduled for early May. Management would like the matter to be settled by the end of June.

Regional plan for cognac
20 avril 1999
The standing committee of the Regional Council has decided to allocate 300,000 francs to support the committee for the promotion of Charente "vins de pays" (local wines) in the 1999 advertising campaign. In addition 100,000 francs will be devoted by the region to research and development programs for cognac. Lastly the committee has approved the allocation of 500,000 francs to support the 1999 advertising campaign for pineau.

Diversification in wine growing : agreement with Intermarché
20 avril 1999
The cooperative at St Sornin, the SICA at Archiac and the distillery at St Savinien in the Charente signed an agreement last Friday for the distribution of a set volume of wine, if the quality is satisfactory, with the Intermarché group via its subsidiary Fiée des Lois at Prahecq in the Deux-Sèvres, which specializes in bottling wines and mineral water. The agreement guarantees the independence of all parties.

Taransaud becomes a sponsor
20 avril 1999
The Tonnellerie Taransaud (cooperage) at Merpins is to sponsor the prestigious Institut Master of Wine of London.

Four candidates for Marie-Brizard
13 avril 1999
Four investors have come forward to take part in the financial restructuring of Marie-Brizard (which controls notably Cognac Gautier at Aigre). They are the La Martiniquaise spirits group, the British Natwest banking group, a subsidiary of Axa and a group of people close to Marie-Brizard. An initial choice should be made shortly before negotiations with the banks can begin.

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