Stock Spirits upbeat on 2010 after strong investment

Stock Spirits upbeat on 2010 after strong investment

Stock Spirits Group has reported strong rises in sales and operating profits in 2009, driven by its Polish vodka brand Czysta de Luxe.

Stock said today (28 June) that net sales reached EUR262m (US$325m) for the 12 months to the end of December, up by 17% on sales of EUR224m in 2008.

Operating profits (EBITDA) leapt by 46% to EUR62.9m, compared to EUR43.2m a year earlier. EBITDA margin also rose by 19%. All figures are at constant exchange rates. Net profits figures were not released.

Polish vodka Czysta de Luxe drove Stock's sales increase, the company said. It sold 5.4m nine-litre cases of the brand in 2009, compared to 2.1m cases in 2008.

"We are delighted to have achieved a record year of profit growth, especially against the challenging global economic backdrop," said Stock's CEO, Chris Heath. "This clearly reflects our strength as one of Central Europe’s most successful producers and marketers of branded spirits."

Heath said that the firm would continue to invest in "existing brands, people and production assets" and will also seek to expand in new markets in the Central and Eastern Europe region.

Overall production volumes doubled in 2009, to 97m litres of alcohol.

Heath added: "We would like to thank Oaktree Capital Management for being a supportive shareholder. With their help, we have been able to invest over EUR75m in our brands and production facilities in the last two years and as result have established what we believe to be a very strong platform for future growth.

"In 2010, we continue to perform in line with management expectations and I am confident that prospects for the full year will build upon the strong growth achieved in the last two years."