Stock Spirits Group PLC (“Stock Spirits”, “Stock” or the “Company”), a leading owner and producer of premium branded spirits and liqueurs that are principally sold in Central and Eastern Europe and Italy, issues a trading update for the period from 1 October 2018 to 14 February 2019, ahead of its AGM today.
Performance so far this year has been solid and the Company is on track with its plans for the year as a whole.
In Q11 the total vodka market recorded an increase in value (+2.4%) and a slight increase in volume (+0.9%) versus Q1 last year2, with growth from both the flavoured and clear vodka segments.
Stock has now delivered 20 consecutive months of profitable year on year market share growth5 in a pricing environment which remains very competitive. Value market share at the end of December 2018 (27.8% MAT) was ahead of the previous year (26.3% MAT)2.
The total spirits market grew in value (+2.1%) despite a slight decline in volume (-0.1%) during Q1¬.3
Stock’s market share has returned to growth, with value market share at the end of December 2018 (34.2% MAT) ahead of the previous year (33.5% MAT).3
The categories in which Stock operates continue to decline. However, market share remains broadly stable with value share at the end of December 2018 at 5.6% MAT versus 5.8% MAT at the end of December 2017.
With the recently announced acquisition of Distillerie Franciacorta6, Stock will be the number one branded grappa business by value in the Italian off trade. This will supplement Stock’s established brand leadership positions in limoncello, clear and flavoured vodka, and its number two position in brandy.4
The acquisition of Distillerie Franciacorta demonstrates Stock’s willingness to undertake value-creating M&A as part of its four pillar growth strategy, and the Company continues to assess a range of other opportunities. As the Company has stated previously, in the absence of further M&A it would as a matter of course consider returning cash to investors via additional shareholder distributions.
On 31 December 2018, the Company received an assessment from the Polish tax authority in relation to aspects of its 2013 pre-IPO intellectual property restructuring and certain other historic intra-group transfer pricing matters. This assessment covers items as disclosed in the Company’s 2018 Annual Report. Stock has settled this assessment with payments, including interest and penalties, of €5.5m in aggregate, €1m of which has already been provided for in its accounts. The Company is seeking recovery of €4.5m of these payments through the normal appeals process. There is no material impact on the financial position or performance of the Group arising from this assessment and related payments.
The Company will release interim results on Tuesday 14 May 2019.
1. First quarter of financial year from 1 October 2018-31 December 2018
2. Nielsen, total Poland, total off trade, total vodka, to end December 2018
3. Nielsen, total Czech Republic, total off trade, total spirits, to end December 2018
4. IRI, total Italy, total modern trade, total spirits, to end December 2018
5. Nielsen, total Poland, total off trade, total vodka, % volume share in relevant month versus same month last year to end December 2018.
6. The signing of agreement for the acquisition of Distillerie Franciacorta was announced on 31 January 2019
Stock Spirits Group
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Stock Spirits is one of the leading branded spirits and liqueurs businesses in Central and Eastern Europe and Italy, and offers a portfolio of products that are rooted in local and regional heritage. With core operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Stock also exports to more than 50 other countries worldwide. Global sales volumes currently total over 100 million litres per year.
Stock has production facilities in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany, and its core brands include products made to long-established recipes such as Stock 84 brandy, Fernet Stock bitters and Limoncè, as well as more recent creations like Stock Prestige and Żołᶏdkowa de Luxe vodkas.
Stock is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. For the proforma year ended 30 September 2018, it delivered total revenue of €282.4 million and operating profit of €48.7 million.
For further information, please visit www.stockspirits.com.
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