Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Rmy chief denies sale rumour

Published:  23 July, 2008

Dominique Hriard-Dubreuil, the chairman of Rmy Cointreau, has sought to reduce speculation that the French spirits and Champagne company might be sold.

Discussion has been prompted by the announcement in early December that Rmy Cointreau had served notice of withdrawal from the Maxxium sales and distribution consortium because it was unhappy with progress in the Far East.

Hriard-Dubreuil, who ran the company successfully for a number of years, said that the four members of the family who now control the group, including herself, would not be sellers if a bid arose, because of a belief that Rmy Cointreau will increase in value in the years to come', despite the share price being supported by bid speculation.

Just before Christmas, the company's shares rose to 47.35, the highest level they have achieved since Rmy and Cointreau merged in 1990. This followed publication of first-half results that showed profits rising faster than turnover. In the six months to 30 September, sales rose by 0.3% to 354m, while net profits rose to 75.7m on the back of strong growth in the US and despite the weakness of the dollar.

Hriard-Dubreuil said the controlling shareholders backed the strategy being pursued by Jean-Marie Laborde, the chief executive, who is focusing on the high-margin end of the product spectrum, especially in the US. Laborde will also make a concerted effort to boost sales in Asia, notably the Chinese market where Rmy has been losing ground to Hennessy and Martell.