Remy Cointreau said its first-half core profit will fall less than expected after the company posted a broader recovery in second-quarter sales, powered by robust demand for its premium cognac in the US and China. 

Demand was buoyed by customers staying at home in the US, and by a recovery in China during the country's Mid-Autumn celebrations.

This was partly offset a slump in travel retail sales triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Second-quarter sales at Remy Cointreau reached €280.8m, down 4% at constant exchange rates and excluding the effect of acquisitions or disposals. 

Quarterly numbers for the maker of Remy Martin cognac and Cointreau liqueur, however, came in better than market expectations of a 5.9% fall in the second quarter, and followed a 33.2% sales decline in the first quarter. 

Cognac sales, which comprise 74% of group sales, fell 2.5% in the quarter, slower than the 4.9% decline forecast. 

The Paris-based spirits maker now expects current operating profit for the six months ended September 30 to be down 25-30% on a like-for-like basis, compared with a drop of 35-40% forecast in July. 

Despite an uncertain economic and health environment, Remy Cointreau reiterated that its second half should continue to benefit from a strong recovery driven by the US and Mainland China, its two key markets.