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Marie Brizard considers sale for underperforming brands

French group Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) is considering offloading some of its brands after downgrading its full-year fiscal outlook.

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits is embarking on a review of its portfolio

The firm estimates that in FY18 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) will be down by €20-€25 million (US$23-US$29m).

To secure cash, MBWS is seeking to “significantly reduce” its operating expenses and has embarked on a review of its portfolio – which could lead to a number of brand divestments.

“The goal of such a sale would be to cover all or part of the losses expected in 2018,” the group said, adding that the brands which “contribute most significantly” to its net sales would not be affected.

MBWS “is facing a slowdown” in France as the country’s wider spirits market declines, particularly vodka, Scotch and fruit wines. The group is also facing difficulty in the US, where vodka sales are sliding.

“Given the weight of these categories in the group’s sales in France and in the US, net sales and profitability in those two countries will be significantly impacted by this slowdown,” MBWS said.

Meanwhile, the firm’s EBITDA will be “significantly impacted” in Poland due to a delay in bringing its new Lancut distillery on line.

The group is engaged in “further negotiations” with its  banking partners following the confirmation of its “weaker outlook” for FY18.

MBWS will not announce its half-year results on 19 September as initially planned.

Andrew Highcock will step into the role of CEO of Marie Brizard next month following the departure of Jean-Noël Reynaud.

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