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Amber Beverage Group: global ambitions

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Amber Beverage Group has constructed a world repute for high-quality drinks and is looking for to grow to be one of many spirits sector’s high gamers. We glance again on the firm’s success in 2020.

Amber Beverage Group's agave field

Amber Beverage Group has invested closely in Tequila, together with buying 220 hectares of agave fields

Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group boasts a wide-ranging portfolio of spirits together with Rooster Rojo Tequila, Kah Tequila, Moskovskaya Vodka and natural liqueur Riga Black Balsam.

The corporate has grown quickly from its authentic core manufacturing enterprise based in 1900, to grow to be a world spirits agency that employs round 2,000 individuals in markets such because the Baltics, Austria, Australia, Russia, Mexico and the UK. The corporate is looking for to grow to be one of many high 10 spirits business gamers globally.

All through the pandemic, the corporate continued to witness constructive gross sales. Amber Beverage Group noticed natural gross sales increase 11% to €268.7 million (US$347.1m) final yr, boosted by its “strengthened” presence in core Baltic markets. Natural working revenue for the complete yr rose by 21% to €21.9m (US$26.8m).

The corporate had surpassed €30m (US$36.4m) in earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the second time, reflecting its capacity to adapt shortly.

In keeping with Nielsen knowledge cited by Amber Beverage Group, the corporate holds the primary place within the distribution of drinks in Latvia, a high 5 place in Estonia, and the primary and quantity two spots in primary spirits classes (whisky and brandy, respectively) in Lithuania.

Jekaterina Stuģe, CEO of Amber Beverage Group, stated: “We’ll proceed on the trail in direction of reaching our ambition to grow to be a high 10 spirits firm on this planet. This might be achieved via sensible brand-building, lively administration of gross sales channels, increasing our e-ambition, additional funding in innovation, centered work on effectivity and effectiveness programmes, and capturing new enterprise alternatives.”

Moreover, Amber Beverage Group entered 10 new markets previously yr: Malaysia, New Zealand, Hungary, Tanzania, Belgium, Djibouti, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Slovakia and Moldova.

The corporate has world ambitions for its core manufacturers, together with Moskovskaya Vodka. Amber Beverage Group goals to promote a million nine-litre circumstances of Moskovskaya over the following 5 years.

“Moskovskaya Vodka is likely one of the strongest belongings throughout the Amber Beverage Group portfolio, and the model is quickly increasing its worldwide distribution, whereas consolidating its efficiency in current core markets such because the Baltics, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Lebanon, the UK and Canada,” stated Pepijn Janssens, Group chief advertising officer.

Earlier this yr, the corporate made one other daring transfer to understand its worldwide aspirations. To strengthen the corporate’s company identification, Amber Beverage Group renamed five of its distribution companies. UK-based Cellar Developments, Mountain Spirits in Austria and Germany, Suppose Spirits in Australia and Bennet Distributors in Lithuania have been renamed ‘Amber’. The transfer goals to develop the corporate’s world footprint and make sure the Amber identify ‘stays on the forefront of consumers’ minds’, the corporate acknowledged.

Because it seeks to grow to be one of many world’s main spirits gamers, Amber Beverage Group lately bought €15.5 million (US$18.5m) price of automated gear for its new ‘state-of-the-art’ warehouse. The corporate had invested greater than €33m (US$39.5m) within the challenge.

The agency’s present warehouse has capability to retailer 25,000 pallets. The brand new facility can have room to carry 35,000 pallets, with room to develop to 45,000 pallets if wanted. As a result of its dimension, complexity and degree of automation, this challenge is critical, not solely on the Baltic degree, but additionally all through Europe.

Stuģe stated: “The most important a part of our funding might be in high-tech gear for our new warehousing, as soon as once more confirming Amber Beverage Group’s bold plans to grow to be one of many 10 most influential and trendy spirits business gamers globally.”

Kah Tequila range

Amber Beverage Group is hoping to develop the presence of Kah Tequila globally

Daring strikes in Tequila

The corporate has additionally made main investments within the fast-growing Tequila sector in recent times. A big milestone for the corporate got here when the agency took over the international distribution rights of super-premium model Kah Tequila.

The group is aiming to expand the international footprint of Kah Tequila this yr, beginning in China. The model may also launch in Canada, Russia, obligation free and a variety of key markets throughout 2021.

A brand new design for Kah Tequila was additionally unveiled within the US, and noticed the model promote greater than 3,100 nine-litre circumstances within the fourth quarter.

Rooster Rojo Tequila’s presence was additionally expanded globally with the model getting into the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

Moreover, Amber Beverage Group acquired 220 hectares of agave fields to help Tequila manufacturing. The transfer will allow Amber Beverage Group to take full management of its Tequila manufacturing and to help the operations of the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos facility within the city of Tequila, Jalisco.

Fabrica de Tequilas Finos is house to manufacturers resembling Kah Tequila, Rooster Rojo, Cenote, Nick Jonas’ Villa One and different 100% blue agave Tequilas.

In 5 years, the corporate stated will probably be capable of provide its personal manufacturers with sufficient blue agave uncooked materials to make sure the manufacturing of Tequila and develop into personal label tasks.

Moskovskaya Vodka hard seltzer

Moskovskaya Vodka-based onerous seltzers launched in January 2021

Progressive portfolio enlargement

The group additionally recognised the potential of the ready-to-drink (RTD) sector and has unveiled a raft of recent improvements over the previous yr. The corporate tapped into the burgeoning hard seltzer category with two Moskovskaya Vodka-based merchandise. The brand new canned 250ml onerous seltzers are available two 4.5% ABV flavours: Raspberry and Lime, and Ginger and Mint.

Riga Black Balsam additionally provides two RTD merchandise, with its packaging modified from bottles to eco-friendly cans. Additional innovation is to come back for Cross Keys Gin, which is able to quickly supply a canned G&T.

Over the previous yr, the agency additionally unveiled a number of new line extensions for Riga Black Balsam, together with a super-premium XO made with French brandy and a chocolate and mint-flavoured expression. The Cross Keys Gin vary additionally welcomed a sea buckthorn-infused expression.

The corporate has boosted its presence within the e-commerce channel as customers shift to on-line purchases in the course of the pandemic. The agency launched new net shops within the Baltics, and secured listings for Rooster Rojo Tequila, Riga Black Balsam and Cross Keys Gin with Dan Murphy’s in Australia, together with a brand new partnership with British on-line grocery store Ocado and e-commerce big Amazon within the UK.

Stuģe stated: “We imagine that the e-commerce channel will proceed to develop in years to come back, thus we’ve got set a very good basis for our e-ambition to get nearer to our customers wherever they’re.”

Additional development

The expansion of Amber Beverage Group has at all times been pushed each by natural development in its core markets with emphasis on its core manufacturers and by the addition of recent enterprise alternatives. Amber Beverage Group is engaged on a number of potential acquisition targets at present.

“We hope to finalise a minimum of one deal this yr. General, we plan to speculate €150 million [US$181m] on acquisitions over the following 5 years,” stated Stuģe. “That might be both one giant deal fixing our want for brown spirits in our portfolio or a number of smaller acquisitions. We’re excited by targets that may add a brand new class or guarantee us with fascinating manufacturers that might be later produced in one in all our personal factories.

“We’re open for alternatives and can significantly take into account handsome provides from colleagues within the business.”

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