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Cuervo maker reports 19.4% full-year sales boost

Jose Cuervo Tequila owner Becle saw net sales grow by double digits in 2020, and revealed plans to increase its stake in the company behind Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve whiskey to 51%.

Conor McGregory Proper No Twelve
Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey first launched in 2018

On 23 February 2021, Mexico-based Becle announced it had exercised its call option to take a 51% stake in Eire Born Spirits (EBS), owner of McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey.

Becle has owned a 49% stake in EBS since May 2020, when it completed the purchase of an additional 29% stake in the company.

EBS owns and markets the Proper No. Twelve blended Irish whiskey brand, which is made at Becle’s Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland.

Professional fighter McGregor first launched Proper No. Twelve in Ireland and the US in September 2018. The brand has since expanded its availability to the UKAustralia, and Canada.

Full-year results

Becle saw its net sales grow by 19.4% on an underlying basis to MXN$35,037 million Mexican pesos (US$1.68 billion) last year. Gross profit grew 16.5% to MXN$18.2m pesos (US$872,800).

For the fourth quarter of 2020, Becle’s net sales increased 2.8% to MXN$10.7m pesos (US$511,000). Gross profit fell by 2.4% to MXN$5.2m pesos (US$248,000).

Becle said full-year growth was led by ‘strong results’ in the US and Canada, which together delivered a 33% net sales growth for the year, boosted by a volume increase and the devaluation of the Mexican peso against the US dollar. The boost more than offset the challenges faced in other regions, Becle said.

Sales in Mexico fell by 8.7% due to price increases, while the rest of the world region reported a decline of 3.5% as a result of volume decreases, which were partially offset by a higher sales mix of premium spirits brands and price rises.

Net sales of the company’s biggest brand, Jose Cuervo, grew 19.4% in 2020. The firm’s ‘other Tequila’ brands, including 1800 Tequila, grew sales by 21.2%. ‘Other spirits’ – including Kraken rum, Three Olives Vodka and Bushmills – rose by 6.8%. Net sales of the ready-to-drink portfolio grew 80.1%. In August 2020, Jose Cuervo tapped into the burgeoning hard seltzer category with the launch of Playamar,

Looking ahead, the firm said: “We remain hopeful that as the world comes to a recovery, some geographies will begin to recuperate from a social and economic standpoint towards the second half of the year. Although the current environment and outlook are unusually uncertain, we are confident we will continue to adapt successfully as circumstances evolve, as we did in 2020.”

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