Marie Brizard reports half-year sales slump

French drinks group Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) has reported a net sales drop for the first half of its 2019 financial year, with double-digit declines in Asia Pacific and the Western Europe, Middle East and Africa cluster.

During H1 2019, MBWS reported net sales of €185.8 million (US$205.4m), a 1.7% drop compared with the same period in 2018.

EBITDA loss was reported at €7.7m (US$8.5m) – a “significant improvement”, however, compared with the €22.1m (US$24.4m) loss during the first half of last year.

MBWS’s ‘branded business’ saw net sales climb 4.7% to reach €92.5m (US$102.2m). This was driven by a “proactive” sales and marketing strategy, which focused more strongly on value over volume.

In Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa (WEMEA), net sales were reported at €53.6m (US$59.2m) for the first half of 2019, down 8.7% compared with the previous year.

A net sales rise of 4.9% across the WEMEA region was offset by an 11% drop in France to €44.5m (US$49.2m) as a result of the implementation of a value-oriented sales and marketing strategy, particularly due to a reduction in promotional activities in France.

Across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), net sales jumped up 41.6% during the first half of 2019 to reach €29.5m (US$32.6m). This was boosted a doubling of net sales in Poland, which was spearheaded by the “gradual ramp-up” of the distribution agreements signed during the second half of 2018, as well as its sales and marketing strategy, which aimed to diversify the company’s consumer base.

In the Americas, net sales increased 11.1% to €8.4m (US$9.3m) in the first half of 2019. However, Asia Pacific struggled with sales dropping 22.1% to €1m (US$1.1m).

Andrew Highcock, CEO of MBWS, said: “The group’s results for this first half of the year are encouraging overall and confirm the relevance of the strategic choices we have made.

“Profitability has improved for our operations in France thanks to the branded businesses. In Poland and the United States, the first effects of the strategic plan’s implementation are now visible, but still insufficient.

“Further efforts along the same lines are therefore required. Many initiatives have already been launched and others are in preparation.

“The disposals of Porto Pitters and Sobieski Trade announced in July are a prime example of this. I look forward to the future with renewed confidence in our project and I remain committed to executing on our strategy, which is critical to our group’s success in the coming years.”

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