INDIA: United Spirits volumes to grow strongly in 09 - president
India's United Spirits expects its volume sales to grow by 17% this year, despite the global economic downturn, company president Vijay Rekhi has told just-drinks.
Case sales are expected to reach between 100m and 105m for United Spirits' current fiscal year, which runs to the end of March 2010, Rekhi told just-drinks in an interview at this week's World Whiskies Conference in London.
United Spirits, which controls more than two thirds of India's spirits market and is part of billionaire Vijay Mallya's UB Group, increased volume sales by 20% to 90m cases in the year to the end of March.
Shrugging off concerns about the impact of the global economic downturn on India's emerging alcoholic drinks market, Rekhi said that United Spirits expects case sales to reach around 115m in two years.
If the firm's predictions for the current year and next are correct, that would mean volume growth of 10% in fiscal 2010/11.
Rekhi said that United Spirits has noticed a limited amount of downtrading on spirits by consumers in recent months, but added that the firm's brands, such as premium whisky Royal Challenge, have not been affected.
"I have heard some rumblings from our sales team, but nothing more," he said.
"It's quite possible that people will downgrade," said Rekhi, but he said that those most affected will be "companies who do not have a brand to hold on to".
He declined to comment on the progress of talks between United Spirits and Diageo, other than to state that negotiations are ongoing and that a number of other parties have also expressed interest in the Indian group.
Diageo is interested in acquiring a stake in United Spirits, in order to establish a stronger foothold in India's spirits market.
Separately, just-drinks understands from a source familiar with the situation that progress of the talks has been relatively slow.
Having expected to fly into a resolutely downbeat mood at this year's Tax Free World Association expo in Cannes, just-drinks discovered that many drinks companies are nurturing a growing sense of opti...
United Spirits, the India-based spirits giant, is looking to raise US$350m via a share issue to help pay down debt accrued by its acquisition of Whyte & Mackay....
Fortune Brands has reported an 11% fall in group sales for the third quarter of 2009, but sales at drinks arm Beam Global Spirits & Wine were flat against the year before....
Setting a minimum price on products is illegal, the European Court of Justice has said, in what drinks firms hope will be a further blow to plans to introduce a minimum price on alcoholic drinks....
UK distiller William Grant & Sons has appointed Brian Kinsman as its new master blender, with effect from 1 December....
Beam Global Spirits & Wine is realigning its organisation, both in the US and internationally....
Pernod Ricard USA has partnered with the World Golf Tour (WGT) to launch an online 'open' for its Glenlivet whisky brand....
William Grant & Sons has appointed Ludovic Ducrocq to the newly-created position of global ambassador for Grant's blended Scotch whisky....
- Comment - How to Target Cognac's Mok Generation?
- Is Marketing Twisting the Meanings of Words?
- Analysis - Keurig Kold fails to impress
- Sustainability - Walking the Walk on Water
- The Beer Engine that is Africa
- Whyte & Mackay takes on Flor de Caña in UK
- Castel acquires stake in Belvedere
- Belvedere proposes name change
- Brown-Forman eyes family ties with board additions
- SPI Group US, Canada sales chief departs
- Global Tequila insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Africa: The Final Frontier for Beer
- Diageo plc (DGE) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review