The chief executive of drinks firm Stock Spirits has said that the business "delivered a resilient performance against the backdrop of a hugely challenging year", as it reported a 6.9% increase in revenue in the year to 30 September.
The company, which is the number two vodka player in Poland and number one spirits firm in the Czech Republic, saw underlying volumes up 1.8% for the year and adjusted EBITDA up 4.6%, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said
The group, which typically generates around 15% of its sales from the on-trade, said that it continued to trade uninterrupted during the crisis, without needing to call on furlough schemes or other government assistance.
It added that it also saw a 'positive contribution' from brands it acquired last year, including Bartida in the Czech Republic, and Distillerie Franciacorta in Italy.
“We are pleased to have delivered a resilient performance against the backdrop of a hugely challenging year,' commented Mirek Stachowicz, chief executive. "In H1, we successfully navigated excise tax increases in our largest markets of Poland and the Czech Republic. In H2, we prioritised protecting and supporting our employees, customers, suppliers and the communities around us in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our strategy of sourcing and manufacturing nearly all of our products locally ensured that there has been no disruption to our operations. In addition, our longstanding focus on the off-trade served us well during the closure of the on-trade as a result of lockdowns. Our portfolio of brands performed strongly, boosted by consumers opting to buy familiar and trusted local brands during times of uncertainty, as well as by the trend towards staycations in our markets."
Performance By Market
In the group's biggest market, Poland, revenue was up 15.1%, while EBITDA was up 18.3% at constant currency levels, with its market share in the key vodka category rising to 31.6%.
It said that it 'outperformed the total vodka market' in Poland, with both its flavoured and clear vodkas performing well. Its largest brand, Żołądkowa De Luxe, delivered value growth of 11.8% for the year, while its premium Stock Prestige and Amundsen Expedition premium brands grew by 5.4% and 15.1% respectively.
In the Czech Republic, revenue was up to €87.3 million, from €81.3 million a year earlier, while EBITDA also rose.
The company said that its performance in this market was 'ahead of expectations', despite it recording a slightly lower value share (33.6% compared to 34.2%) than the previous full year period.
Looking ahead to the coming year, Stachowicz added, "While there remains some uncertainty in the short-term outlook, in the longer term we are confident that we will emerge from the pandemic with an even more loyal and engaged consumer base, closer customer and supplier relationships, and a stronger business than ever before. As such, we remain confident in the future prospects of Stock Spirits.”
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine