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Remy Cointreau eyes return to like-for-like profit growth in full year

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Spirits group Remy Cointreau has achieved better-than-expected first-half profits despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Thursday, predicting a strong recovery in the second half, driven by China and the United States.

For the 2020/21 full year, the maker of Remy Martin cognac, Cointreau liqueur and Mount Gay rum forecast “positive” like-for-like current operating profit growth and said it remained confident of its ability to emerge stronger from the crisis.

The forecast would compare with a slump of 22% in profit the previous year. Analysts had been looking for a 0.5% like-for-like decline for the full year.

Group current operating profit for the six months to Sept. 30 reached 106.2 million euros ($126.6 million), or a like-for-like decline of 22.5%, as cost controls helped limit the fall.

That outperformed a company-compiled consensus of 18 analysts that forecast current operating profit of 101.1 million euros, down 26.1% on a like-for-like basis.

It also reflected already reported better-than-expected sales as a rise in sales to U.S households and strong mid-autumn festival celebrations in China partly offset a slump in travel retail sales from the coronavirus crisis.

Operating profit at the Remy Martin cognac division, which makes more than 80% of group profit, reached 93.6 million euros in the first half, or a like-for-like decline of 25.1%.

Already reported cognac sales fell 18.1% in the first half.

($1=0.8386 euros) 

Main Photo: EPA/GEOFF CADDICK

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