PARIS Jan 15 Higher-than-expected Christmas and
New Year champagne sales halved the industry's predicted drop in
sales in 2013 to 1.5 percent, a second straight year of decline
as economic woes in France and the EU send customers looking for
Some 304 million bottles of champagne were sold worldwide
last year, down 1.5 percent from 2012, but revenues were down
2.5 percent to 4.3 billion euros ($5.9 billion), producers'
group CIVC said on Wednesday.
Producers last month had forecast a fall of between three
and four percent in volume and thought revenue would be flat at
A record 339 million bottles were sold in 2007 before the
global economic and financial crises began weighing on the
"The month of December, which accounts for nearly 15 percent
of annual sales, partially offset the decline in sales observed
previously. It totals about 42 million bottles, or 8 percent
more than in December 2012," the Comite Interprofessionel des
Vins de Champagne said in a statement.
Sales fell 2.3 percent in France to 167 million bottles and
shipments to other countries of the 28-member European Union,
where the UK is the largest export market, dropped 3.4 percent
to 74 million bottles.
In contrast, they rose 3.2 percent in the rest of the world
to 63 million bottles. These markets, led by the U.S. and the
second largest Japan, beat records set last year and now account
for more than 20 percent of volumes sold and over 25 percent of
the industry's revenues, the industry body said.
The world of champagne is dominated by luxury group LVMH
, which owns best-sellers Moet & Chandon and Veuve
Clicquot on top of Dom Perignon, Ruinart and Krug brands, Lanson
BCC and Laurent Perrier.
Specialist champagne-makers also include Vranken
and drinks group Pernod Ricard's Mumm and
($1 = 0.7306 euros)
(Reporting by Pascale Denis, writing by Sybille de La Hamaide;
Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)