Champagne house Lanson-BCC has reported a tough first half of 2013, hit by higher costs and weak demand in the second quarter.
Lanson-BCC said this week that volume sales dropped by 4.6% for the six months to the end of June, versus the same period of last year. It blamed the ongoing ‘major economic slowdown in France and across Europe’.
Over the same timeframe, Champagne industry-wide volume sales fell by 3%, Lanson said.
In value terms, Lanson’s global sales still crept up by 0.5%, to EUR93.46m, although a 9% sales increase in the first three months of the period masked a 7% drop in sales in the second quarter.
Higher selling costs and the pace of volume decline conspired to reduce the group’s operating profits, or earnings before interest and tax, by 13% for the six-month period, to EUR10m. Net profits sank by almost 26%, to EUR2.39m.
Despite the declines, Lanson said there is still time to turn things around in 2013.
‘The first half of the year accounts for 50% of fixed costs, but only generates around one third of sales. In this way, these results must not be extrapolated over the full year for 2013.’
However, the firm provided no forecast figures for its second-half.
Written by Chris Mercer