April 18, 2018 / 5:34 AM / 4 months ago

Remy Cointreau keeps profit goal as China demand lifts Q4 sales

PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - French spirits company Remy Cointreau reported higher annual sales, helped by strong demand for its premium cognac in China, and kept its target for profit growth this year.

The group, which makes Remy Martin cognac and Mount Gay rum, said sales came in at 1.127 billion euros ($1.39 billion) for its 2017/18 full financial year, which ended March 31.

“With full year sales in line with the group’s forecasts, Remy Cointreau confirms its guidance of growth in current operating profit for the financial year 2017/18, assuming constant exchange rates and consolidation scope,” it said.

In the fourth quarter alone, demand during the Chinese New Year festivities in February lifted cognac sales by 18.3 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Like its rivals, Remy Cointreau is sensitive to demand in China, where it has been marketing premium spirits, including its $3,000 a bottle top-of-the-range Louis XIII cognac.

The private consumption of drinks and spirits has been recovering in China, offsetting the impact from the country’s anti-corruption crackdown over the past few years which had hit sales of premium brand drinks.

$1 = 0.8080 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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