First Drinks has won the rights to distribute the Rémy Cointreau portfolio in the UK, in a move expected to increase the company's annual turnover by 30% to £42m in the next four years.

The stable of cognac, liqueurs, Champagne, rum, gin, brandy and armagnac includes Rémy Martin, St Rémy and Louis XIII cognacs, Charles Heidsieck and Piper Heidsieck Champagnes, Mount Gay rum, Cointreau and Passoa fruit liqueur.

The deal would enable First Drinks to explore sales potential in Champagne and premium cognac for the first time and extend its brand presence beyond its core whisky and vodka labels such as Glenfiddich and Russian Standard, said sales director John Hyman.

"Rémy Cointreau will bring a whole new area of business to us such as Champagnes and premium cognacs. It will add further weight to our non-cream liqueurs, premium rum and white spirits categories." The Rémy Cointreau brands would make First Drinks the leading supplier of premium spirits - defined as costing more than £20 (per 70cl) in the UK, with a 24.7% market share.

The deal excludes UK distribution of Metaxa Greek brandy, which will continue to be distributed separately, while the ­acquisition of Isolabella sambuca is scheduled for June.

Marketing campaigns for Rémy Cointreau will kick off later this year as part of a £40m spend. First Drinks has also unveiled a revamped logo, which it claims will better emphasise the premium credentials of its portfolio.

First Drinks' sales grew 13% by volume across all trade channels in 2008.

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