AGM Trading Statement
Stock Spirits Group PLC (“Stock Spirits” or the “Company”), issues a trading update for the period from 1 January 2017 to 23 May 2017 ahead of its AGM today.
Performance so far this year has been satisfactory and expectations for trading for the full year remain unchanged and in line with current market expectations. In Q1 the vodka market in Poland recorded a slight decline in both value (-1.0%*) and volume (-1.5%*) versus Q1 last year, driven in part by the timing of Easter being later in the calendar this year (i.e. Q2 in 2017 as opposed to Q1 in 2016). Growth in the flavoured vodka market was negated by a decline in the clear vodka market.
The Polish market remains highly competitive, with significant ongoing price pressure. Stock Spirits has continued to invest in pricing across its product range, and its market share has stabilised. The Company’s volume market share at the end of March (25.2% MAT*) was broadly at the same level as at the end of December 2016 (25.3% MAT*).
As stated in the full year results announcement in March, the Company has continued to implement a wide range of cost savings with commercial restructuring already undertaken, in January 2017, in Italy and the UK. The Company has now restructured the Group Legal and Operations functions, with activity being transferred and integrated into the local markets. Whilst no savings are expected in 2017 from these changes, this is expected to result in savings of €1.5m per annum from the beginning of 2018. These recent changes, as well as the closure of the Swiss office last year, brings total savings in corporate costs since December 2015 to €3m, representing a 25% reduction in Head Office and local market support costs. All savings are being reinvested in the core Polish business.
During the period, the Company signed a new contract with Beam Suntory for the distribution of their brands in Slovakia, including Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and Maker’s Mark. In the UK, it announced a new partnership with Distell for it to distribute a range of Stock Spirits’ brands, including Amundsen Expedition Vodka, Żołądkowa de Luxe crystal clear vodka, Żołądkowa Gorzka, Lubelska, Stock XO brandy and Limoncè. Other developments included the commencement of the distribution of the ultra-premium Beluga vodka brand in Croatia and Bosnia, and the rebranding of the Company’s Slovakian business to Stock Slovensko s.r.o. as part of the wider strategy of unifying Stock Spirits’ corporate identity.
The Company will release interim results on Wednesday 9 August 2017.
For further information:
Stock Spirits Group: +44 (0) 1628 648 500
Mirek Stachowicz, Chief Executive Officer
Lesley Jackson, Chief Financial Officer
Powerscourt: +44 (0) 207 250 1446
Investors can also address any query to firstname.lastname@example.org.