Belvédère has posted a slip in full-year operating profit, despite a strong performance from its Polish operations.

The France-based spirits and wine producer and distributor said yesterday (28 April) that operating profit in 2007 fell to EUR23.2m (US$36.1m) from EUR31.1m in 2006. Group net profit decreased more markedly, to EUR0.6m compared to EUR14.4m a year earlier.

In February, the company posted full-year sales of EUR1.04bn, up by 35.3% on the year before. At the time, Belvedere said it expected EBITDA to reach a level of between EUR60m and EUR65m before restatements related to businesses and operations sold or terminated. EBITDA restated from operations sold in 2007, however, came in at EUR52.8m.

"Group results of operations are mixed as between the very strong growth of all brands in the spirits area, on the one hand, with especially good performance in Poland with a 30% increase in current operating results courant (sic) and, on the other hand, a more difficult season for wine in France, with a decline of EUR8m in its contribution to our results," the company said.

Moving forward, Belvédère said it will focus on improving its operating results, especially in its wine business in France, and continuing to reduce its indebtedness and financial charges, especially through the sale of land in Krakow.