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April 2, 2003

INDIA: Sales up 15% at UB spirits arm

The spirits division of the United Breweries (UB) Group has posted a 14.5% increase in sales volumes for 2002/03 against 2001/02.

The spirits division of the United Breweries (UB) Group has posted a 14.5% increase in sales volumes for 2002/03 against 2001/02.

The division, which comprises McDowell & Co Ltd and Herbertsons Ltd., recorded sales of 30.8m cases for 2002/2003, up from 26.5m the year before.

The company said growth at its spirits divisions was well ahead of sector growth for the period which it put at around 6%. UB also said that revenue growth was more or less in line with the volume growth but did not give any precise figures to support this.

Sales of McDowell’s No 1 whisky had topped the 4m case mark, the company said, while Bagpiper whisky sold 6m cases and Celebration rum 3.5m. The company also reported sales of more than 1m cases of its Vin Light Whisky brand.

The growth in sales volumes for 2002-03 was attributed to the company’s focus on “power brands”, branding initiatives and the restructuring of the division into regional profit centres. The company also said that growth of “not less than 10%” was anticipated for the current fiscal year.

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