SSG takes stock of flat-lining revenue

Stock Spirits Group has announced revenues dropped 0.9% to €292.4m last year but reported EBITDA growth of 6.8% to €68.8m.

The eastern and central Europe-focused group said it strengthened its leading position in spirits in Poland during 2012 by increasing its vodka share to 36%, having benefited from the market’s recovery.

Spirits share was grown in Czech Republic, where it remains the market leader, while its position was consolidated in Italy by growing share in the brandy and vodka categories, despite a “very challenging” backdrop,

Chris Heath, chief executive officer of Stock Spirits Group, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to deliver another very strong set of results in 2012, continuing an unbroken record of profit growth each year since the formation of the Group.

“Faced with on-going difficult economic conditions, significant input cost increases, and the temporary spirits ban in the Czech Republic, we were well positioned in 2012 to capitalise on the strength of our brands and distribution platform to deliver superior results by taking the lead on market pricing and managing our product and marketing mix to deliver strong margin growth.”

The group “met consumer demand for new flavoured vodkas” through products such as its lime and mint Lubelska variant and “strengthened” the Keglevich brand franchise among younger consumers with the innovative and successful launch of vodka, ginseng and guarana based Keglevich K-Guar in Italy.

It also developed its flavoured vodka offering in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, introducing Amundsen Peach and Amundsen Lime and Mint.

A coffee edition of its Bozkov brand in the Czech Republic was also released and the group entered the cream liqueurs market with Stock Crema.

Heath added: “We are particularly pleased to have extended the leading positions for most of our core brands in our key markets, and to have continued with our successful track record of launching new products across the region. We remain confident that the group is well placed to take advantage of opportunities to grow the business further in 2013 and beyond.”

During 2012 the group acquired Slovakian spirits company Imperator and assets of Novel Ferm, an ethanol manufacturing business located near Rostock in Germany, and announced the sale of Stock USA and the Gran Gala brand to Sazerac Company.