Belvedere slides to FY loss after “total overhaul”

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Restructuring costs incurred in a "complete overhaul" of the business sent French wine and spirits group Belvédère to a EUR18.1m (US$20.3m) loss in 2014. However, the company has reported sales in the first three months of 2015 up 4.4% on an underlying basis to EUR95.6m as it focused on abandoning low-profitability activities.

Belvedere described 2014 as a "total overhaul" of its operations

Belvedere described 2014 as a "total overhaul" of its operations

Belvédère confirmed net sales had fallen 13.5% to EUR466.7m in 2014, or down 4.1% on an underlying basis.

The reported operating loss was EUR13.9m, reduced from EUR35.7m in 2013, but including nearly EUR15m in restructuring costs, without which operating profit from continuing operations increased to EUR1m.

Margins had been impacted by falls in revenue, the company said, but had also been boosted by the abandonment of low-profitability activities.

"2014 saw a total overhaul in the way our group operates," said Belvédère CEO Jean-Noël Reynaud. "The new management team, appointed following a change in our governance structure, has worked hard to put management best practices in place…We ended the year in a much healthier situation than we started it."

Late last year, the company said it would offload production assets and reduce its portfolio as part of a new strategic plan to turn around the business. Belvédère has since agreed to sell Galerie Alkoholi, a 39-store liquor chain in Poland, to French retail giant Carrefour, with an agreement likely to be finalised shortly.

The company will release its half-year sales in August.

For Belvedere's full-year presentation from yesterday, click here.

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