Lucas Bols FY driven by PassoãBy Nicola Carruthers
Dutch spirits group Lucas Bols has reported a revenue increase of 14.5% to €92.2 million in 2017/18, bolstered by the full-year consolidation of Passoã.
Net profit increased by 20.1% to €14.7 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2018.
Revenue from Bols’ global brands, which includes Bols Liqueurs, Bols Genever, Bols Vodka, Damrak Gin, Passoã, Galliano and Vaccari Sambuca, increased by 21% in 2017/18 to hit €69.9m.
The result was driven by Passoã liqueur, which performed “strongly” in the UK.
Passoã, which Bols took over in December 2016, has been “successfully” integrated into the company.
During the full-year, Lucas Bols USA expanded the distribution of Passoã from 15 to 35 states. In addition, a “strong” new visual identity and campaign has been rolled out. The new ‘fresh’ campaign was activated in the retail market in France and Belgium.
Bols Genever and Damrak Gin saw double-digit revenue growth, while Bols Vodka continued to face pressure in Canada due to “fierce price competition”. The Bols Liqueurs range delivered single-digit revenue growth. Following a “strong recovery” in 2016/17, the Italian liqueurs portfolio performed “slightly below” last year.
Revenue of the regional brands – comprising Dutch Genevers, Vieux, Pisang Ambon, Coebergh and continent/country-specific brands such as Regnier Crème de Cassis in Japan – decreased 1.8% by €22.3 million compared to last year, mainly due to “significantly lower sales” in the southern part of Africa. This was blamed on a change in local packaging regulations and a “weaker” performance of regional liqueurs.
Western Europe reported 27.8% growth in revenue, mainly due to Passoã while North America showed growth of 3.1%. Emerging markets reported revenue increased by 5.1% and Asia-Pacific “returned to growth”, up by 1.3%.
The US market showed “strong” organic revenue growth of 11.5%
Huub van Doorne, CEO of Lucas Bols, said: “2017/18 was a good year for us. Passoã performed well in its first full year as part of our portfolio of global brands. With limited additional overheads we were able to add this brand to our platform and significantly increase revenue and EBIT. This is an achievement that we are proud of.
“Furthermore the growth trend of our global brands – one of our key strategic metrics – continued with organic growth at 3.3%, in line with our medium term target. We are pleased to propose a final dividend of € 0.25 per share, resulting in a total full-year dividend of € 0.60 per share, up 5.3% compared to last year.”
Looking ahead the, the company said in a statement: “We continue to believe in the potential of our global brands in all four regions around the world and focus on further growing our global brands, in line with our strategy. We continue to invest in A&P for global brands that show strong growth potential in various strategic markets.
In December last year, Lucas Bols entered into a ‘strategic partnership’ with New York-based London Group for sparkling liqueur Nuvo.
The Dutch firm relaunched Nuvo in spring 2018, which will “contribute” to the revenue growth of the global brands in the US.
The company added that it will “continue to monitor potential add-ons of brands which can be integrated into our platform”.