UK: Blavod Wines & Spirits chief remains pragmatic despite H1 losses
Profit isn't everything for Blavod Wines & Spirits
The head of Blavod Wines & Spirits has played down losses in the company's half-year performance but warned that he remains cautious for the rest of the year.
The UK-based group, which owns several spirits brands and represents other wine and spirits brands in the UK, today (26 November) posted flat gross sales for the six months to the end of September. While sales hit GBP3.98m (US$6.2m) in the period, versus GBP4m a year earlier, EBITDA almost halved, dropping by 46% to GBP49,000.
Blavod posted net losses of GBP12,000 for the half year, compared to net profits of GBP45,000 a year ago.
Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today, managing director Richard Ambler said that creating profit is not the firm's driving force. "Our primary goal is to invest in and build our own brands, not to make a profit," Ambler said. "The balance between how much to spend and how much to turn into profit is an issue for a company of our size. If we make a large profit, then we're underspending. In a tough market, we try not to cut our A&P budget - the brands would take a hit."
Turning to the half-year results, Ambler noted that the prior-year had been "flattered" by several one-off gains. "Without the one-offs," he said, "we were flat profit-wise".
The UK, which accounts for around 65% of Blavod's performance, remains "uncertain for all our brands", the company said in its outlook, although Ambler confirmed that Blavod will make its entry into the spiced rum category in February.
Mardi Gras, which will be produced in the Caribbean, will initially launch in the UK.
Entitled Mardi Gras, the Caribbean-produced rum will lunch initially in the UK. "The spiced rum market is growing very fast," Ambler said. On pricing, he said that "we will be more competitive than Sailor Jerry and similar to Morgan Spiced".
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