Allied Domecq (AD) has extended its marketing and distribution agreemnt with SPI Group (SPI) for the Stolichnaya vodka brand.

AD will market and distribute the Stolichnaya vodka brand portfolio in markets within the European Union, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, according to a press release.
Stolichnaya will now become one of AD's core brands, the company said.

AD already markets and distributes Stolichnaya on behalf of SPI in the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Nordic region. The original US agreement runs until 31 December, 2010. The new agreement will expire on the same date. AD has the right of first refusal for the renewal of both agreements.

Since AD began US distribution in January, 2001, sales of Stolichnaya have grown from 1.2m cases to 1.9 m cases.

The Stolichnaya range of vodkas will be added to the AD brand portfolio on a phased market-by-market basis. This process will start almost immediately and will continue over the next three years with new markets being added as and when current distribution arrangements with third parties expire.

AD expects that the acquisition of new distribution markets for Stolichnaya will have a neutral effect on earnings for the financial year 2005.