Stock Spirits names CEO as H1 gets back on track
- H1 net profits hit EUR8.4m (US$9.4m), up from EUR231,000 in year-prior
- Net sales climb 7% to EUR116m
- Operating profits jump 138% to EUR12.5m
- Volumes up 10% to 5.4m nine-litre cases
Stock Spirits was hit hard by a tax increase in Poland in 2014
Stock Spirits has appointed a full-time CEO as it bounces back from a disastrous 2015 to post an improved H1.
The distiller, which saw its core Poland market tumble last year, said today interim-CEO Mirek Stachowicz will take over the role permanently. Stachowicz replaced former CEO Chris Heath in April after Heath left amid an investor revolt.
Stachowicz said he was happy with today's results, which showed EBITDA growth across all regions. He also said the initiatives the company have put in place in Poland "are starting to show positive results" with market share being regained across its core traditional trade outlets.
"Although the recovery is in its early days, the board is confident that the strengthened management team in Poland will be able to build on this encouraging start over the coming months," Stachowicz said.
Net profits were up to EUR8.4m (US$9.4m) in the six months to the end of June, up from EUR231,000 in the year-prior. Net sales climbed 7% to EUR116m in the same period while operating profits jumped 138% to EUR12.5m. Volumes were up 10% to 5.4m nine-litre cases.
Despite the increases, Stock's numbers remained markedly down on H1 results in 2014, when profits were EUR16.8m and net sales EUR137.7m. The 2014 results were also down on 2013.
Stock has been hit hard in Poland since an IPO in 2013, especially by the introduction of a 15% rise in excise duty on strong alcohol at the start of 2014. Investors this year have railed against steep losses in Poland that saw market share drop from 38.1% to 30.9% last year, as well as what they called a "remote" management set-up. Stock is based in the UK but operates mainly in eastern Europe.
By April this year, two of Stock's main investors had called for the removal of Heath.
Today, Stock said overall market share in Poland was down to 25%, however price reductions now in place are hoped to boost volumes in the second half of the year. The company boosted EBITDA in the country by 64% to EUR15.1m while sales were up 16% after a 36% drop in H1 last year. Poland acocunts for 50% of Stock's EBITDA, according to analysts.
As of 0846 today, Stock's share price was up by 1.4% on the London stock exchange.
To read the company's full results, click here.
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