FRANCE: US shines, but full-year losses leap for Belvedere

By | 10 April 2013

  • FY net losses leap to EUR117.8m (US$153.8m) from EUR54.7m in 2011
  • Net sales in 2012 struggle, falling by 2.9% to EUR555.6m
  • Operating losses rise to EUR9m from EUR3.4m a year earlier
  • US produces sales growth, France and Poland both suffer

Belvedere has seen its full-year net losses more than double as sales in 2012 slipped slightly.

The French company, which owns the Sobieski vodka brand, said earlier this week that net losses in the 12 months of 2012 came in at EUR117.8m (US$153.8m), compared to net losses in 2011 of EUR54.7m. Net sales in the year dipped by 2.9% year-on-year, totalling EUR555.6m, with operating losses soaring from EUR3.4m in 2011 to EUR9m.

Belverdere hailed Sobieski's performance in the US last year, with volumes breaking 1m nine-litre cases in the market for the second consecutive year. However, despite a slight lift in overall sales by value in the US, poor results in France and Poland dragged on the full-year numbers.

The full-year numbers indicate a tough second half for the embattled company: In August, the company posted a 1.6% increase in sales for the first six months of 2012.

“Despite these difficulties, the group companies have striven to carry on with their business and uphold the position of their brands in the various markets,” the company said. For example, it underlined the “continued success” for Krupnik vodka in the Polish market, which increased its market share to 15.1% from 14.3 % a year earlier.

Last month, the firm was granted court approval for its debt restructuring plan as it secured the sale of its Danzka vodka brand to German group GeVeMa for EUR19.4m (US$25m). 

To read the company's official statement, click here.

Expert analysis

Spirits in Poland

In line with growing sophistication and diversification of spirits consumption, spirits sales are becoming increasingly heterogeneous. A considerable group of Polish consumers still strongly follows the westernisation trend. These consumers are strongly aspirational and typically enjoy demonstrating their status. The combination of these factors results in the growing popularity of brown spirits. For example, whiskies and cognac strongly benefit from this trend. The predominant vodka category...

Sectors: Company results, Spirits

Companies: Belvedere

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