Finnish beverage firm Altia Group has reported a 5.4% increase in reported net sales in the second quarter of its financial year, with CEO Pekka Tennilä noting that sales have grown "as a result of a gradual market recovery".
Finland, along with the other Nordic markets in which Altia Group operates, saw a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions in the period, which in turn has led to a sales recovery.
"With the restricted sales channels opening in the second quarter, we have activated our brands in the monopolies, exports, travel retail and on-trade with good results," Tennilä commented.
"Our continued solid development reflects the strong commitment and hard work of our employees, and I want to thank everyone for these achievements."
During the first half, Altia Group reported a net sales increase of 6.2%, to €158.5 million (+4.4% at constant currency levels), with net sales rising in both its Finland & Exports and Scandinavia business segments.
"In the Finland & Exports segment, we can see the positive impact of less COVID-19 restrictions as net sales turned to growth, mainly driven by higher spirits sales in exports and travel retail," said Tennilä.
"In the Scandinavia segment, we saw growth in all three markets, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In Sweden, reported net sales grew, supported by strong spirits sales in the monopoly, the recovery of the on-trade channel and a favourable currency rate."
The period also saw the completion of a merger between Altia and Arcus to form Anora, a leading wine and spirits business serving the Nordic and Baltic region.
Continued Uncertainty In The Market
While the group has updated its short-term outlook, it is not providing guidance for 2021, due to the continued uncertainties associated with COVID-19, and the affect on travel retail, exports and the on-trade.
'The development of the Group’s business operations and profitability are affected by the competitive environment, the overall economic outlook and changes in alcohol taxation and regulation,' it said.
'Uncertainty related to changes in consumer buying behaviour and consumer demand continues. In addition, overall fluctuations of direct product costs affect the Group’s profitability.'
Altia Group's flagship brands include Koskenkorva, O.P. Anderson and Larsen, while other brands available in the Nordic region include Chill Out, Blossa, Xanté, Jaloviina, Leijona, Explorer and Grönstedts. The group reported net sales of €342.4 million in 2020.