CENTRAL and eastern European alcohol producer Stock Spirits yesterday reported revenue for 2014 fell to €292.7m (£208.1m), down 14 per cent on 2013.
Stock Spirits cites a harsh excise duty in Poland as the leading cause of falling revenue. The company’s Zoladkowa Czysta is Poland’s best-selling clear vodka.
“We expect trading conditions in Poland to remain difficult moving into 2015, but expect more normal trading patterns will resume during the course of the year,” said chief executive Chris Heath,
Despite difficulties, Stock Spirits posted pre-tax profits of €49m, rebounding from last year’s €8.9m loss. This was in part due to high non-recurring and exceptional expenses in 2013, as well as not having flotation costs to factor in this year.
Stock Spirits also reported evidence of fraudulent payments within Poland’s market, “which may amount to €1.2m in 2014, and similar amounts in each of the four preceding years”, according to a company statement.