MBWS full-year sales slip on distribution shift

8th February, 2017 by Kristiane Sherry

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits saw its 2016 full-year sales slip 3.3% to €431.3 million, impacted by currency fluctuations and a reconfigured distribution network.

Marie Brizard Wine and Spirits’ full-year sales took a hit due to distribution changes and currency impacts

Excluding currency impact, full year sales slipped 1.8%, while the fourth quarter dipped by 0.4%.

MBWS organised its route-to-market into distribution “clusters” in 2016, which included renewed focuses in the US and Asia.

Excluding currency impacts, the Central and Eastern Europe cluster made 3.3% sales gains in the financial year, while the newly formed Asia Pacific hub soared 20.5%, albeit from a small base.

Despite the top line declines, Cognac Gautier saw its sales climb 37.7% for the year, with the Marie Brizard liqueur line up 5.1%. William Peel Scotch saw a 1.3% sales uplift, while Sobieski vodka saw steep sales losses, contracting 10.4%.

In total the MBWS Branded Business, which also includes Krupnik and the Fruits and Wine portfolio, was stable at 0.7% growth.

“The reconfiguration of our distribution networks, which took place in December of last year, had a negative impact on MBWS’ net sales toward the end of Q4 2016 as a number of Polish wholesalers decided to reduce their stocks before our new distribution contracts became effective on January 1st, 2017,” said Jean-Noël Reynaud, CEO of MBWS.

“This short-term negative impact does not call into question our growth strategy, nor does it affect the reconfiguration of our routes-to-market, the underlying structure for our long-term growth.

“Consequently, the full-year 2016 sales results do not reflect the significant market share gains made by our pillar brands, particularly in France and Poland. In France, William Peel is now the top-selling spirits brand in large retail chains in terms of volume sales, as measured by Nielsen against all spirits categories for the November 2016-January 2017 period. These positive performance indicators confirm the strength of our mainstream business model and the growth opportunities presented by MBWS’ positioning at the heart of the wine and spirits industry.

“The top-line decrease in Q4 will have an impact on our 2016 EBITDA target, which is now estimated to be on the order of €17m, representing strong growth compared to 2015.”

The company added that its BiG 3.0 strategic plan objectives, set to run until the end of 2018, remain unchanged.

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