Remy Cointreau H1 profit hit by Greek woes

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH drinks group Remy Cointreau said six-month net profit fell two thirds after it took a €45m (£38m) writedown on Greek brand Metaxa.

Growth in markets such as Asia and the United States helped balance out woes in recession-hit Greece, and Remy Cointreau posted overall growth in revenue and operating profitability.

It gave no update on the sale of its loss-making champagne business, which includes the Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck brands.

The unit was put up for sale on November 15 so the group could focus on its fast-growing cognac unit.

Group net profit for the fiscal first half fell to €14.1m, Remy Cointreau said on Tuesday. Without the Metaxa writedown profits would have grown to €47.5m.

Sales rose 18.3 per cent to €482m, with growth in champagne and Scotch whisky brands distributed in the United States offsetting a decline in liqueur and spirit sales.

Current operating profit rose 23.7 per cent to €81m.

Net debt fell to €485m in the period, from €501m at end-March.