Stock reports ‘difficult’ year as Poland bites

12th March, 2015 by Becky Paskin

A tough trading environment in Poland has seen Stock Spirits sales dive by 14% in 2014, in what it describes as a “difficult year”.

Stock-Spirits-Group

Stock Spirits has seen profits return to growth, although Poland’s excise increase has resulted in a “difficult” year for the group

Blaming a 15% increase in excise tax in Poland, the Central and Eastern European spirits producer saw sales drop from €340.5 million in 2013 to €292.7m in its 2014 financial year.

But despite the fall, Stock claims consumers in the market have “accepted” duty driven price increases, which the group has upped by an average of 4% per case.

Group CEO Chris Heath said that the trading environment in Poland will “remain difficult” in 2015, although he expects stability to return “during the course of the year”.

Heath added that the completion of Stock’s first full year distribution agreement with Beam Suntory in Poland and Diageo in the Czech Republic have helped deliver “significant value and volume growth”.

He said: “Whilst 2014 has been a very challenging year for the Group following the 15% increase in excise duty in Poland, we have remained faithful to our strategy and achieved several important goals.

“We have continued to invest in our brands and our production capability and launched a number of successful new products.”

Meanwhile Stock’s profits after tax grew to €35.8m, up from €8.9m in 2013.

Poland, Stock’s largest market that counts for 60% of the group’s sales, introduced a 15% excise tax increase on 1 January 2014.

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