Swedish sales boost Altia full-year results

13th February, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

Nordic drinks group Altia reported net sales of €359.6 million (US$391m) in 2019, boosted by a 5.3% sales increase in Scandinavia.

Altia’s 2019 sales were boosted by a 5.3% increase in Scandinavia

Overall sales for the period were up by 1.5%, when compared with the previous year.

The group’s financials were boosted by sales in the Scandinavian segment, which grew to €120.7m (US$131m). However, net sales in Finland and the exports segment declined to €128.6m (US$140m).

Altia CEO Pekka Tennilä said: “Looking back at [the] previous year, I am pleased to see our net sales in constant currencies and our profitability to improve after a solid fourth quarter performance. Scandinavia segment, especially Sweden, showed a strong sales and profitability improvement supported by another successful Blossa season.

“In 2019, our net sales in constant currencies grew by 1.5% driven by Scandinavia and Altia Industrial segments. In the monopoly markets, Altia’s spirit sales value grew in all three markets: Finland, Sweden and Norway. In 2019, Altia’s net sales totalled €359.6 million.

“Within the Nordic core brands, especially our grain-based spirits brands such as Koskenkorva Vodka and OP Anderson Aquavit have developed well during the year supported by successful product launches.”

According to Tennilä, the group’s profitability improved during Q4 2019, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) growing to €19.7m (US$24m) during the period. During FY 2019, EBITDA was €44.8m (US$49m), 12.4% of net sales.

Tennilä added: “Our financial targets remain unchanged. In the long-term, we aim for an annual net sales growth of 2% and an comparable EBITDA margin of 15%. We also aim to keep the net debt to comparable EBITDA ratio below 2.5x and to distribute at least 60% of the result to our shareholders.

“For 2020, we expect comparable EBITDA to be at the same level as or higher than in 2019 (2019: €44.8 million). The continued decline in market volumes in Finland puts pressure on profitability growth. The uncertainties in global travelling impacts border trade and travel retail regionally and in Asia. Guidance assumes a normal barley price level following the 2020 harvest. Industrial services are impacted by phasing of volumes between the years.”

Last year, the Nordic drinks group set itself a sustainability target to make its production processes carbon neutral by 2025.

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