Global cognac sales rose 7.3 percent to 2.44 billion euros ($3.24 billion) in the last 12 months as solid demand from North America and Asia made up for a slump in Western Europe, the BNIC industry body said.

Compared with last year’s record high, volumes were 1.1 percent lower at 166.57 million bottles, but more upscale brands of cognac were sold, explaining the rise in revenue.

Asia, which accounted for more than one-third of demand, remained the biggest market with sales up 8.9 percent in the year ended July 31.

North America, meanwhile, was the fastest-growing market with sales up 9.7 percent at 53.38 million bottles.

A 5.6 percent rise in Eastern European sales counterbalanced a 1.6 percent fall in Western Europe, meanwhile.

French spirits group Remy Cointreau said last month it had seen sluggish demand for its flagship cognac brand in China in the first half but expected demand in the United States to stay strong for the rest of the year.

Cognac is named after a town in south western France and refers to a variety of French brandy. (Reuters)