Cognac sales enjoy record 2011

Soaring demand in China has resulted in global Cognac sales reaching record levels last year.

Industry body the Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC) said more than five bottles were sold every second in 2011, with the total number of bottles sold rising by 6.4% to 162.9 million.

The Far East, which accounted for more than one-third of demand, was the biggest market and the fastest-growing, with volumes up 14.4%. Sales in China alone rose by 20%, the BNIC figures reveal.

Growth in Europe was more modest, with the region’s volume sales edging up by 0.4% to 46.9m bottles, while demand in North America rose 3.2% to 50.8m bottles.

Speaking to Reuters, Rémy Cointreau chief executive Jean-Marie Laborde spoke of his optimism for the coming year and his belief that the recovering US market coupled with the rapid growth in Asia will help counteract the continuing economic struggles in Europe.

Laborde said Christmas sales at the company, which makes Rémy Martin Cognac as well as Cointreau liqueur, were “very good”.

He said that sales in the October-December period in particular had exceeded expectations, mainly due to increased Cognac shipments ahead of the Chinese New year.

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