Cham­pers in­dus­try is bub­bly about sales

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD WEEKEND -

PARIS: The cham­pagne in­dus­try is heart­ened by a sales re­bound this au­tumn but has no vis­i­bil­ity for 2010, ac­cord­ing to Ghis­lain de Mont­golfier, the head of their in­dus­try body.

“Sales are up in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber com­pared with the start of the year,” De Mont­golfier said this week. “Sales to the whole­sale trade are now at the same level as last year.”

He said the hol­i­day sea­son would not fully make up for this year’s un­sold stock but cited an old proverb to sum up his mood: “When I’m op­ti­mistic, I drink cham­pagne; when I’m pes­simistic, I drink cham­pagne to re­cover my op­ti­mism.”

De Mont­golfier’s cau­tious op­ti­mism for 2010 is sup­ported by a “very good” 2009 har­vest of 13 000kg of grapes per hectare. Last year’s har­vest was at 14 000kg. Each bot­tle re­quires around 1.2kg.

He ex­pected lower cham­pagne sales in 2009 yearon-year, against 322 mil­lion bot­tles in 2008.

This 2008 fig­ure was down 4.8 per­cent year-onyear af­ter two years of strong growth. – Reuters

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