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Premium brands boost revenue for Stock Spirits

Central and Eastern European drinks group Stock Spirits has reported a revenue increase of 8.7% to €282.4 million (US$320.1m) for 2018, bolstered by “solid” growth in Poland.

Stock Spirits has moved its financial year to end in September

The spirits and liqueurs producer has reported pro-forma 12-month results in order to account for a move in its financial year to end in September.

Stock Spirits stated adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) for the year to 30 September 2018 of €59.4m (US$67.3m) – an increase of 11.5% compared to the previous year.

The firm also reported that its volumes had risen 2.8% compared to the previous year, reaching 13.3m nine-litre cases.

Revenue in Poland was up 55% to €152.6m (US$173m), while revenue in the Czech Republic grew 25% to €73.2m (US$83m).

The company said the economic environment “remained favourable” in Poland and the overall vodka category was “stable, with welcome growth in premium segments”.

Flavoured vodka was hailed for driving sales, with clear vodka experiencing a “small decline”.

Italy presented “tough trading conditions”, but generated a 9% increase in revenue to €25.8m (US$29.2m) – down 1% from the previous year. The spirits market in Italy is “highly fragmented”, according to Stock Spirits, with numerous “mature” categories, such as bitters, vodka, brandy, whisky and liqueurs.

“Trading conditions remain very tough as a result of high levels of unemployment and consumer consumption being impacted by rising inflation,” said Mirek Stachowicz, chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, other combined markets – including Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and international exports to the US, Germany, Canada, the UK, Slovenia and other Balkan countries – saw double-digit revenue growth of 11% to €30.9m (US$35m).

Stachowicz said: “This has been a year of good growth for Stock Spirits and today’s results show that our strategy of focusing on premiumising our range and increasing the use of digital channels in order to engage with millennial consumers is working.

“We are pleased with the increasing strength and resilience of our core Polish business and also with the way in which we have combatted the headwinds experienced earlier in the year in the Czech Republic.

“Given the positive momentum in our underlying business and our portfolio of strong brands that are responding well to our ongoing programme of investment, we remain confident of being able to achieve further growth in the future.”

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