Troubled Eastern European vodka maker Stock Spirits has launched two distribution partnerships in Poland and Italy and Slovakia.
From this month Stock Spirits will distribute Synergy Group's super premium Beluga Vodka throughout Poland, while in Italy and Slovakia the group will distribute several brands in Distell International's premium portfolio.
This includes brands such as the African cream liqueur Amarula, Scotch whiskies Black Bottle and Scottish Leader, as well as the Cognac Bisquit. The value of the agreements was not disclosed.
Stock Spirits already has a logistics agreement with Diageo in the Czech Republic.
While the distribution agreements are a modest expansion, consolidating its presence in the European market is a key part of its strategy after profits fell steeply last year following stiff competition in its core Polish market.
Until recently, Stock Spirits was pursuing an M&A strategy that raised the ire of major shareholder Western Gate Private Investments and led to the chief executive stepping down and the election of two non-executive directors to the board at the company's AGM on 23 May.
On 21 June, Stock Spirits announced it intends to pay a £20m special dividend on 27 July to investors registered on 7 July and that no further M&A activity will take place in 2016.
Stock Spirits shares were up 2.8 per cent today to 165p.
Interim chief executive Mirek Stachowicz said: "We are very pleased that a highly respected business like Distell recognises the strength of our distribution platform in these countries.
"This step shows Stock Spirits’ commitment to strengthening our premium portfolio and entering into some of the categories where we are not currently present, such as Scotch whisky, which is a growing category in all of our markets.
"This is also a step towards delivering on the objectives set out following our strategic review earlier this year."