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Central European Distribution Corporation has acquired a Polish alcohol distributor. The company announced today (12 October) that it has acquired 100% of the shares of Polnis Distribution for an investment of approximately US$2.37m of which 80% was paid in cash and 20% will be paid in shares of common stock of CEDC.

The shares of CEDC common stock will be subject to a one-year lock-up period, the company said.

In a statement, William Carey, president and CEO of CEDC, said: "We are pleased with this transaction as it is expected to strengthen our position in the city of Lodz, the third largest city in Poland. Polnis has been in the alcohol business for over 10 years and brings solid management to our group, as well as a client base of over 1,000 clients.

"Polnis' annual net sales are approximately US$25m, and we expect Polnis to add approximately US$6m to the company's consolidated net sales for the remainder of 2004.

"We are raising our 2004 full-year net sales guidance from US$543m-US$553m to US$549m-US$559m and expect Polnis to be accretive to the company's 2005 earnings by US$0.04-US$0.05 per fully diluted share; however, due to necessary restructuring within Polnis, fully diluted earnings per share guidance for 2004 will remain at US$1.28-US$1.33, an increase of approximately 36% over 2003 earnings of US$0.96 per share," Carey added.

In August, CEDC posted a 30.6% rise in net income for the three-month period to 30 June, hitting US$4.52m. Net sales for the quarter also increased, by 26.5% to US$133m.

CEDC is an importer of beers, wines and spirits, as well as a distributor of domestic vodka in Poland. The company operates ten distribution centres and 70 satellite branches throughout the country.

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