Champagne sales set for record year

Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:56am EST
 
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By Pascale Denis

PARIS (Reuters) - Champagne sales are set for a record year, driven by solid demand from export markets, favorable currencies and stabilizing sales in France, the fizzy drink's home market.

Industry estimates gathered by Reuters showed that about 312 million bottles of the prestige sparkling wine will have been dispatched in 2015, a rise of between 2 and 3 percent from 2014.

Revenue has risen 4.4 percent to 4.7 billion euros in 2015.

In 2007, the record year so far, revenues reached 4.56 billion euros, before the global economic and financial crisis began weighing on the market a year later.

The 2015 sales estimates reflected efforts to promote higher-priced products such as special blends and fine vintages, as well as growing demand for Rose Champagnes in Japan and the United States, Champagne's second export market after Britain.

In Britain, a solid economy underpinned buoyant demand while austerity-hit Italy and Spain were starting to see signs of an upturn.

Economic woes in Champagne's home market of France have taken the fizz out of global sales since 2010, but sales were stabilizing in volume and value this year and could even show a slight rise.

"France is on a recovery path. Consumption stabilized," said Bruno Paillard, CEO of Lanson BCC (LAN.PA: Quote), the number two Champagne house behind luxury group LVMH (LVMH.PA: Quote).   Continued...

 
Bottles of Champagne are displayed at Dilettantes wine shop in Paris, France, December 31, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier