US: Acquisitions drive CEDC earnings
Central European Distribution Corporation saw profits leap last year on the back of contributions from a raft of recent acquisitions.
The US-based company yesterday (1 March) posted an 81% jump in operating income to US$51.6m as net sales rose 29% to US$749.4m.
CEDC, which is also Poland's largest vodka producer, said the brands it bought as part of the acquisitions of Polmos Bialystok and Bols had boosted its market share in the fourth quarter of last year.
William Carey, CEDC's president and CEO, said: "We believe that with our strong portfolio of imported and recently acquired brands our sales force will have a tremendous advantage in the marketplace in developing sales to same store customers.
"These efforts all will be supported by our experienced marketing team to take advantage of the strong brand position we already have."
Carey added that CEDC was looking to add to its distribution network in Poland after snapping up two distributors late last year. The company is the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in Poland, with a portfolio including Remy Martin, E&J Gallo wines and Foster's lager.
"We are confirming our 2006 guidance for net sales of US$931m-956m and full year fully diluted earnings per share guidance of US$1.90-2.10," Carey said.
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A final decision on the fate of the majority stake in Polmos Bialystok is expected some time today....
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