• Half-year net profits hit EUR7.7m (US8.2m) from EUR2m a year-prior
  • Sales in six months to end of September dip by 3.4% to EUR39.4m
  • Operating profits fall by 10.3% to EUR11.6m
Lucas Bols saw its top line hit by stocking issues in the first half of fiscal-2016

Lucas Bols saw its top line hit by stocking issues in the first half of fiscal-2016

Lucas Bols has blamed Australia and South-East Asia for pulling down its sales in the first half of its current fiscal year, although North America performed well in the period.

The company's top line was down in the six months to the end of September by 3.4%, due to one-off in-market stock reductions in Australia and South East Asia. While Lucas Bols' Australian sales were hit by a supply chain structure adjustment, the company reduced its stocks in South-East Asia ahead of a change of distributor at the start of next year.

In North America, the firm, which owns the Bols and Galliano liqueurs, posted a 3.4% sales lift, although Western Europe came in flat.

The sales dip led to a 10% fall in operating profits, while net profits were boosted by reduced finance costs compared to the corresponding period a year ago. Finance costs totalled EUR1.3m compared to EUR9m in H1 2014/15 thanks to the reduction of debt at the group's IPO in January.

"In the past six months we have seen a slight decrease in revenue," admitted CEO Huub van Doorne. "In North America, we see our market strategy for growth pay off, with a healthy organic revenue increase of 3.4%. Our overall operating profit level was impacted by lower revenue and currency effects but, given our reduced net debt and the consequent reduction in finance costs, we reported a substantially higher net result of EUR7.7m."

On outlook, the company added: "The second half should experience less impact from currency fluctuations on operating profit due to hedges in place. Furthermore, we expect a lesser effect of one-off stock reductions in Asia Pacific.

"Although a number of markets will remain challenging, overall we maintain a positive view about the future developments of our brands."

Lucas Bols will pay an interim dividend of EUR0.31 per share on 30 November.

To access the company's official results statement, click here.