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Blavod Extreme Spirits has reversed its losses in its latest fiscal year, ahead of a proposed name change for the company.

The UK-based company, which owns the Blavod Black Vodka brand, said late last week that net profit for the year to the end of March totalled GBP1.1m (US$2.2m), compared to a loss in fiscal-year 2007 of GBP3.5m. Operating losses came in markedly lower in the year, at GBP165,000 from GBP668,000 a year earlier. Sales also improved, up by 26% to GBP4.1m from GBP3.2m.

The strong net profit performance was driven by the disposal of its loss-making US business in September, the company said.

"A year of solid progress both for the Blavod vodka brand and all of our agency brands has resulted in our first operating profit, and the very recent acquisition of two new brands and the encouraging start to the new financial year give us confidence in more progress in the year ahead," said company chief executive Richard Ambler.

Late last month, Blavod signed a full licence agreement for the use of the intellectual property rights for the Blackwood's gin and vodka brands, which were owned by Shetland Spirits Ltd., and said it was in advanced talks to sign a licence deal for Shetland's Jago's vodka cream liqueur.

Blavod also said that it will propose a change of name to its shareholders. "The company's name, eponymous with one of its major brands, no longer represents the diversity of the portfolio," Blavod said. "Nor does the inclusion of the word "Extreme" represent more than a reminder of previous hopes and disappointments." The company will look to change its name to "one that is more appropriate".

Moving forward, sales in the first two months of this fiscal year increased "satisfactorily", the company said, in spite of the rise in excise duty in the UK. "Export volume of Blavod remains buoyant, and there is nascent demand for Blackwood's Gin," the company added.

Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Blavod Extreme Spirits

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