Drinks group Anora has reported net sales growth of 10.2%, to €181.9 million, in the third quarter of its financial year.
Net sales excluding Globus Wine amounted to €159.4 million, the company said in an interim report.
Comparable EBITDA declined to €23.4 million or 12.8% of net sales from €30.1 million or 18.2% of net sales in the same period last year.
Anora CEO, Pekka Tennilä, commented, "The decline in profitability was related mainly to the normalisation after COVID-19, with wine and spirits volumes in the monopolies continuing to see strong declines.
"In addition, our operating expenses were higher and the relative gross margin was lower due to the high input costs including barley price at a record-high level. We have implemented price increases across all of our businesses and markets, but due to the time lag between the increase in input costs and our price increases, the gross margin declined."
The January to September period, Anora generated net sales of €481.1 million, up 4.7% compared to the first nine months of 2021.
Comparable EBITDA was €55.3 million or 11.5% of net sales, down from €70.4 million or 15.3% last year.
In the spirits category, net sales remained at par with last year, supported by continued growth in the International segment, with net sales growth in exports, Baltics and duty-free travel retail channels.
In the monopoly markets, the company's net sales declined, but market shares increased in all countries.
Tennilä stated, "Net sales growth in wine was driven by Globus Wine’s strong performance in Denmark. Globus Wine continued to gain market share and further strengthened its position as the market leader.
"In the monopoly markets, net sales declined largely following a declining market and due to the earlier partner losses, but we are working hard to mitigate the losses and we have already been successful with gaining new partners such as Zonin and AdVini."
The company's own wines saw positive development driven by the relaunch of the Chill Out brand across the Nordics.
"Our tender winning rate has been good and we have launched several interesting novelties during the quarter. We will be able to expand Globus Wine’s strong own wine portfolio to high-volume wine segments in Sweden, Norway and Finland," Tennilä added.
The net sales growth in the industrial segment was driven by higher sales prices, while volumes remained below last year’s level as the company continued to operate the Koskenkorva Distillery at a lower speed to mitigate the push from the high cost of barley.
Anora reiterated its guidance for full year 2022 and expects comparable EBITDA in the range of €75-€85 million.
Tennilä said, "The barley crop this year was good. The prices have come down from the peak level earlier this year, but uncertainty in the global grain market remains a fact. The barley price level is expected to stay high, and due to overall uncertainties the cost pressure in other raw materials is expected to continue.
"The last quarter of the year is important for us, and we have yet again a fantastic offering of products for the Christmas season, and we are well prepared for the high-season."