French liqueurs and spirits company Rémy Cointreau SA (REMYF.PK, RCO.PA) said Tuesday profit for the year ended March 31 surged 57 percent, driven by strong demand for cognacs in Asia as well as sales growth in all other regions.
The company attributed the results to "excellent" performance by Rémy Martin, continued rapid growth in Asia and the disposal of the Champagne division. Europe too witnessed sales growth driven by Western Europe and Russia.
For the year, Rémy's group share of net profit climbed 57.2 percent to 110.8 million euros from prior year's 70.5 million euros. Net profit, excluding certain non-recurring items, increased 15.3 percent to 123.9 million.
Rémy Cointreau's turnover grew 13 percent to 1.03 billion euros reflecting "buoyant business activities" worldwide. On an organic basis, at constant-exchange rates, turnover increased 15.6 percent.
Operating margins expanded, thanks to significant improvement in gross profit accompanied by increased advertising and marketing investment to support the brands, the company said.
Rémy Martin brand outperformed with price increases and the continued move of cognacs upmarket, particularly in Asia. The US, Travel Retail and Russia also participated in this substantial growth, the company noted.
In Liqueurs & Spirits division, turnover increased despite weak economic conditions in Europe - the division's primary market. Cointreau and Mount Gay Rum brands reported growth in their key markets. Metaxa, a blend of brandy and wine, generated higher sales following two years of decline on the back of weak comparatives marked by the Greek crisis.
Further, the company noted that it put an ordinary cash dividend of 1.30 euros and a special dividend of 1 euro to a shareholders' vote at the Annual General Meeting to be held on July 26.
Looking ahead, Rémy expects to generate steady and profitable growth despite an uncertain economic and monetary environment in Europe.
In Paris, Rémy's shares closed Monday's trading at 81.34 euros, up 1.52 euros or 1.90 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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