just On Call - India misconduct review on-going - Beam Inc
Beam is investigating its operations in India following allegations of misconduct
Beam Inc has said a review of its operations in India are on-going in the wake of allegations of financial misconduct.
During an analyst conference call today (2 November), following the spirits group's Q3 results, CFO Bob Probst said that a review is “proceeding” to ensure the Indian business is being run “within the laws and high standards of business conduct and ethics” that Beam expects. Last month, The Times of India reported allegations of possible violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving the group's operations in the country.
Beam asked the senior management in India, including MD Harish Moolchandani, to stay away during the investigations, according to the Times of India report.
Today, Probst said it was “premature to speculate” on the outcome of the review. He also flagged that India represented only 3% of the company's sales. But he added: “We continue to like the opportunity offered by India.”
Meanwhile, CEO Rob Shattock talked up the opportunities offered by Pinnacle Vodka, which the group acquired earlier this year and has seen 22% sales growth in that time. Beam wants to take the brand's US distribution “broader and deeper,” Shattock said.
A major new advertising campaign for Pinnacle is also due to launch in the US on 19 November. “We think the big opportunity is awareness,” said Shattock.
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