Finnish drinks group Anora has reported a 39.7% increase in reported net sales in 2021, to €478.2 million, in what chief executive Pekka Tennilä described as a "historic year" for the group.
Growth on a constant currency basis was 38.3%, while comparable EBITDA stood at €71.7 million, up from €52.4 million.
Following the completion of the merger of Altia Plc and Arcus ASA, which led to the establishment of Anora, the group has "successfully re-structured our organisation and continued to serve our partners and customers well," Tennilä said.
"The work to capture the net synergies of €8 million to €10 million has continued as planned with several initiatives to drive efficiencies and find new growth opportunities across our markets."
During 2021, the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions impacted the business' on-trade performance, it said, however it also reported 'extraordinary high sales volumes' in the retail channel.
The fourth quarter saw the wine and spirits market return to normality, it added, leading to net sales growth on a pro forma basis.
This was "supported by the gradual opening of the restricted sales channels and the higher contract manufacturing volumes," said Tennilä.
"In this quarter, we were also faced with a historically sharp increase in input costs, with specifically the cost of barley reaching a record-high level."
Outlook For 2022
The group said that it expects comparable EBITDA for the 2022 financial year to be between €75 million and €85 million, roughly on a par with pre-pandemic levels. This takes into account the annual impact of €4.6 million, linked to the divestment of Anora brands due to the merger.
"In 2022, we expect the volumes in the monopolies to be significantly lower than in 2020 and 2021 as the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions result in higher on-trade, border trade and duty-free sales, and input costs to remain at a high level," Tennilä added.
Anora's next quarterly update is due on 19 May.
Anora Group recently announced it was suspending its sales to Russia, due to the escalating conflict in Ukraine.