Remy Cointreau on track for profit growthOrganic profit was up 12.7 per cent to during the first fiscal half for Remy Cointreau as the France-based spirits group said it remains on track to meet full year profit expectations. The group revealed in an interim report published today that it remains in line to achieve its long term profit aims on the back strong sales for its spirits brands, with sales up to €374.4m. Cognac dominated company growth, with sales up by 12.8 per cent on an organic basis to €40.4m, the group said. Fuller's surviving UK smoking ban A leading British brewer says it has to maintained profitability in its operations despite the recent imposing of new laws preventing smoking in public places like bars. Fuller's, which produces beers such as London Pride and , said revenues were up three per cent to £93.3m (€129m) for the sixth month period ending 29 September. Operating profit was also up by three per cent to £21m (€29m) over the same period last year, with operating margins remaining unchanged for the period at 22.5 per cent. Michael Turner, Chairman of Fuller's said that the group has successfully managed to retain profitability in its operations "Our investment in outside areas, marketing and focus on creating the best pub in any area ensure that we are well positioned to deal with the winter impact of the smoking ban," he stated. With a growing number of member states looking to stub out smoking in bars and cafes, a number of brewers have stressed concern over the effects in their on-trade margins. The group's success in on-trade beer sales will be some encouragement to other alcohol groups concerned of the affect the legislation may have on trade talks. Sitevi technical wine show starts in Montpellier As European wine producers brace for the brunt of CAP reforms on their operations, the Sitevi 2007 wine production expo kicks off in Montpellier today. The three-day event offers manufacturers the chance to catch up on the latest advancements in grape growing and wine making equipment as well as acting as a forum for issues affecting the industry. Discussions on the agenda this year include the inclusion of new member states into European brewing, crop protection challenges for industry, and technical issues like producing tannin-rich wines: techniques. The show will also announce a number of technologies that have won its innovation awards praising a new device for precision pruning, an electrodialysis technology for wine acidification and a analysis tool to aid tasting.