• Sobieski vodka boosts sales
  • Momentum builds in Q4
  • Looks to raise EUR115m
Sobieski drives Belvédère sales in 2010

Sobieski drives Belvédère sales in 2010

Strong consumer demand for Sobieski vodka in the US helped Belvédère to claw back lost sales in 2010 and boosted the French group's hopes of emerging from bankruptcy protection.

Belvédère said today (14 February) that net sales for the 12 months to the end of December rose by 5% to EUR601.8m (US$814.5m). The group's momentum strengthened in the second half of the year, when sales rose by 14%, albeit with 5% of that rise attributable to currency.

Sales in the US were particularly strong, driven by Sobieski. In the fourth quarter, Belvédère's sales in the country rose by 65% on the same period of last year. However, the US still only accounts for 3.6% of Belvédère's total annual sales and a solid 7.5% increase in full-year sales in the group's core Polish market also helped to drive growth in 2010.

Fourth quarter sales for the entire company increased by 13% to EUR175.7m.

The improved momentum towards the end of the year will give Belvédère confidence as it seeks to navigate its way out of bankruptcy protection in France. The group has not yet released details of profits for 2010.

Last week, Belvédère announced plans for the issuance of share warrants and/or the acquisition of shares with the aim of generating EUR115m of capital. The company needs to raise funds to meet debt repayments, which total EUR375m over ten years. It paid back an initial EUR23m tranche of debt last November.