Stock Spirits Group, Central Europe’s leading branded spirits and liqueurs business, has reported a 4.1% increase in EBITDA to a record Eur63.9 million on a like-for-like basis for 2011. On a constant currency basis, EBITDA rose by 6% but revenue at Eur295.1 million was slightly down on a like-for-like basis compared to the Eur301.9 million generated in 2010.
Stock Spirits Group retained spirits market leadership in Poland with a 34% market share during the year and also managed to improve margin to offset market volume decline and cost increases, through focus on profitable products, selective price increases and a better marketing mix. The group also strengthened its market leadership position in Czech Republic, with overall share growth to 40%, and grew market share in Italy within a very challenging market.
Significant brand and NPD investment was made during the year to continue the expansion of the portfolio. This entailed meeting consumer demand for new flavoured vodkas through strong growth in Lubelska, including the successful launch of the blackcurrant variant and recently launched grapefruit flavour and Lubelska Three Grain clear.
Stock Spirits Group also successfully secured new banking facilities during the year to strengthen its financial position. The refinancing consists of a Eur220 million facility, including funding for acquisitions.
Chris Heath, chief executive of Stock Spirits Group, comments: “Against a very challenging market backdrop, I am delighted that we have been able to deliver another very strong set of results in 2011, continuing our unbroken record of profit growth each year. Faced with falling market volumes and significant input cost increases, it is important that we were well positioned to capitalise on the strength of our brands, taking the lead on market pricing and managing our product and marketing mix to deliver margin growth. We are particularly pleased to have maintained, and in some cases extended, the leading positions of most of our core brands in our key markets and have continued with our successful track record of launching new products.”
He adds: “Despite the continued challenging market conditions, we remain confident that the group is well placed to take advantage of opportunities to grow the business further in 2012.”