Stock Spirits looks to Irish whiskey for further growth after profits jump

 
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Whiskey is the high-growth market on everyone's lips at Stock Spirits (Source: Getty)

Polish vodka maker Stock Spirits increased profits and revenue in the first half of the year, after making significant cost savings.

The figures

Total revenue reached €119.8m (£108.2m), an increase of 3.3 per cent.

Pre-tax profit jumped 23 per cent to €15.7m (£12m).

Sales volumes of the company's brands, which include 1906 vodka and Amundsen, were up 7.3 per cent, shifting 5.7 million cases which hold 9 litres each.

Earnings per share rose from four cents to six cents.

Read more: Stock Spirits gulps down three Czech vodka and gin brands

Why it's interesting

Stock Spirits has had the mother of all hangovers from "disruption" in the Polish market, which caused its profits and revenue to drop in 2015.

Since then it has faced bouts of shareholder activism, most notably from Portuguese billionaire Luis Amaral. As recently as May, a quarter of shareholders voted against the company's remuneration report.

But the company has improved performance in the six months to 30 June by realising costs savings of €2.5m. A further €1.5m is expected to be save through restructuring of legal and operations teams from next year.

Stock Spirits is now looking to invest further in Irish whiskey, marking a break from its core category of vodka. Earlier this year it announced a €15m investment for 25 per cent of Quintessential Brands Irish Whiskey, and has said that a deferred investment of €3.3m could be made if the brands perform well.

Although Stock Spirits has reported good sales during the period, vodka volumes are dropping in the global drinks market as a whole, with drinks giant Diageo reporting a two per cent decline in vodka.

What the company said

Chief executive Mirek Stachowicz said:

While our core markets remain competitive, we believe that our strategy of further developing our existing brand portfolio whilst continuing to invest in markets and categories with strong potential leaves us well placed to continue delivering long-term and sustainable growth.

Read more: Mezcal sales top up agave spirits growth as tequila takes over

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