Amid liquor ban during quarantine, Emperador posts 'robust' foreign sales in H1

Amid liquor ban during quarantine, Emperador posts 'robust' foreign sales in H1

MANILA, Philippines —Emperador Inc. on Tuesday reported “robust” growth in its international business in the first half, helping temper losses at home as a result of a liquor ban during the quarantine period that hurt sales.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the brandy owned by tycoon Andrew Tan said key markets in the United States, Sweden, Spain, Indo-China, the United Kingdom, Russia and China delivered "strong performance" in the first six months even as these territories also imposed movement restrictions to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

A key difference between these markets and the Philippines is the latter’s enforcement of a liquor ban for three months in Luzon and other key areas where the enhanced community quarantine was in effect. Emperador, however, did not mention local sales on its report.

The company also did not go into specifics as far as its financial performance is concerned, but a “robust growth” as it stated appeared to have countered even partially a 16% drop in net income during the first three months of the year. 

Among international markets, sales in the UK jumped 34% in an annual basis as of June, while in Russia, whisky sales rose a faster 69% year-on-year during the six-month period.

Whyte and Mackay, an Emperador wholly-owned subsidiary, also has presence in China, where the virus emerged. According to the company, “large orders” for its UK unit’s The Dalmore and Fettercairn brands “were experienced across China as the country eased up its quarantine lockdowns during the second quarter.” 

“China has bounced back quickly after it reopened its economy. We are pleasantly surprised at China’s remarkable resilience and its strong preference for luxury and super premium goods has returned so quickly as it began its V-curve recovery,” said Glenn Manlapaz, chief executive. 

“In fact, our sales orders for June and July alone are 125% more than the same period last year,” Manlapaz said, adding that full-year revenues in the mainland is likely to “more than double” this year.

In the first quarter, Emperador's net income fell 16% year-on-year to P1.5 billion on the back of 3% annual decline in revenues to P11 billion.

At the time, the brandy firm said it was “performing well” during the first two months following a fresh increase in excise taxes on Jan. 1, but growth was interrupted when the government placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine in mid-March.

“This was further aggravated by the liquor ban,” Emperador had said.

Aside from Whyte and Mackay, Emperador also owns Emperador Distillers Inc. and Bodegas Fundador in Spain.

On Tuesday, listed shares in Emperador went up 3.53% from previous day to close at P8.80 apiece.