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Bollinger breaks new sales record

2011 marked a new high for Bollinger in terms of the volume and value of Champagne sold.

Speaking to the drinks business earlier this year, Jérôme Philippon, president of the house said, “2011 was a record year for Bollinger, it was our best ever volume wise and price wise.”

The brand’s previous high point was in 2007, when Champagne as a whole shipped a record-breaking 328 million bottles.

Despite declineing sales for the Champagne category in the crucial French and UK markets, Philippon said Bollinger had enjoyed sales increases in both these countries, and strong growth in the US and Japan.

He stressed the success of last year’s 2002 Grande Année release and sustained sales growth for Bollinger rosé launched in 2008.

The brand also unveiled a gift pack in December to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Special Cuvée brut non-vintage (pictured above). Containing three bottles, each has different historic labels, one from its launch in 1911, another from its repackage in 1961, and finally, its current appearance.

Looking ahead, Philippon said that 2012 would be “difficult,” and recalled a slowdown in sales during the last quarter of 2011.

However, comparing the situation to early 2009, he said, “The difference compared to the previous crisis was that there a lot of inventory everywhere, and no-one wanted to buy Champagne as they wanted to exhaust their supply. Now we don’t see this, and that’s why the orders for the beginning of the year are ok.”

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