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SSG announces another very strong set of results in 2012, continuing an unbroken record of profit growth each year since the formation of the Group

Highlights:
Profit growth against tough market backdrop

  • Record EBITDA, with growth of 6.8% to €68.8m on a like-for-like basis (2011: €64.3m)
  • Revenue of €292.4m, just slightly down on a like-for-like basis (2011: €295.1m)
  • EBITDA margin per litre has grown by 11.3%
  • Strong cash flow generated
  • This strong performance against the backdrop of the Czech illegal alcohol crisis in September 2012.

Margins improved in Poland and market leading positions maintained in key markets

  • Further strengthened spirits market leadership in Poland with increased overall vodka market share of 36%, substantially benefiting from the market recovery in 2012
  • Strengthened market leadership position in the Czech Republic, growing overall spirits share in the off trade from 38.0 to 39.6%
  • Consolidated market share in Italy within a very challenging market, growing share in the brandy and vodka categories.

Continued to successfully grow business footprint in the region through targeted acquisitions and the sale of non-core assets

  • In December 2012, SSG announced the acquisition of leading Slovakian spirits company Imperator
  • In December 2012, SSG announced the acquisition of the assets of Novel Ferm, a high quality ethanol manufacturing business located near Rostock in North Eastern Germany
  • In October 2012, SSG announced the sale of Stock USA and the Gran Gala brand to Sazerac Company.

Significant brand & NPD investment during the year to continue portfolio expansion

  • Met consumer demand for new flavoured vodkas through strong growth in Lubelska, for example launch of lime and mint variant
  • Strengthened the Keglevich brand franchise amongst younger consumers with the innovative and successful launch of vodka, ginseng and guarana based Keglevich K-Guar in Italy
  • Led development of the flavoured vodka market in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, introducing Amundsen Peach and Amundsen Lime and Mint. Achieved significant growth despite the Czech methanol crisis
  • Expanded usage of the popular Bozkov brand in the Czech Republic through new coffee flavoured range extension Bozkov Special
  • Entered the cream liqueurs market with Stock Crema.

Future Outlook

  • Market conditions slowly improving across central Europe, particularly Poland
  • With leading brands in key spirits categories, the SSG Board is confident that the Group is well positioned to take full advantage of future growth.

Chris Heath, Chief Executive Officer of Stock Spirits Group said:

"I am delighted that we have been able to deliver another very strong set of results in 2012, continuing an unbroken record of profit growth each year since the formation of the Group. Faced with on-going difficult economic conditions, significant input cost increases, and the temporary spirits ban in the Czech Republic, we were well positioned in 2012 to capitalise on the strength of our brands and distribution platform to deliver superior results by taking the lead on market pricing and managing our product and marketing mix to deliver strong margin growth."

"We are particularly pleased to have extended the leading positions for most of our core brands in our key markets, and to have continued with our successful track record of launching new products across the region."

"We remain confident that the Group is well placed to take advantage of opportunities to grow the business further in 2013 and beyond"

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