Scandinavian growth boosts Altia sales
Finnish drinks group Altia saw sales reach €249.5 million (US$277m) in the nine months to September 2019, boosted by the Scandinavian market.
In Q3 2019, sales were €84.5m (US$93.7m), dropping by 0.4% on July-September 2018. Comparable earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period was €11.4m (US$12.6m), 13.5% of net sales.
The Larsen Cognac maker reported its nine-month results for 2019, with net sales of the Finland and exports segment declining €90.9m (US$100.8m), while sales in the Scandinavian segment grew to €76.3m (US$84.6m) – a 4.6% increase.
Comparable EBITDA from January to September 2019 was €25.1m (US$27.8m), equivalent to 10.1% of net sales.
CEO Pekka Tennilä: “We are happy to see net sales of beverages growing in constant currencies in the third quarter, driven by strong performance in Sweden.
“We are delighted to see the positive development of our spirits sales in our core markets. In Sweden and Norway, our spirits sales increased in growing markets. In Finland, spirits market volumes are still in decline, but this has flattened out, while our sales in value terms have grown.
“Our guidance for 2019 remains unchanged, and we expect the comparable EBITDA to improve from the 2018 level. The guidance assumes a normal barley harvest, a flattened out market development in Finland, and growing markets in Sweden and Norway.”
Sustainability a ‘strategic priority’
According to Tennilä, a focus on sustainability will be a “key success factor” for Altia in the coming months.
“Sustainability is a strategic priority and a key success factor for us,” he said.
“As an important input for our future sustainability work, we have finalised the calculation of our first full environmental life-cycle analysis for our key brand, Koskenkorva Vodka. The study shows that most of the carbon footprint during the life cycle of Koskenkorva Vodka derives from the product’s packaging and the cultivation of the barley used as an ingredient in the vodka.
“We continue to work on better farming practices with our partners and to develop sustainable packaging. With our biggest customers, the state retail monopolies, we are working for a higher use of sustainable packaging solutions such as PET bottles and bag-in-boxes.”