Sobieski Continues To Surge For Belvedere In 2011May 16, 2011
Sobieski vodka, one of the U.S. spirits market’s hottest brands in recent years, continues to enjoy rapid growth in 2011. In the first quarter of the year (ended March 31), Sobieski’s ongoing expansion spurred brand-owner Belvédère SA’s U.S. turnover to a 20.2% sales jump. That impressive performance comes after a two-year period in which Sobieski’s U.S. depletions tripled, from 255,000 cases in 2008 to 765,000 cases in 2010. Retailing at around $11 per 750ml, the Polish vodka import’s competitive price has been a key asset in recent years.
Beyond the U.S., which accounts for 3.3% of company turnover, Belvédère SA also thrived in Poland and France during the first quarter. In Poland—by far Belvédère’s biggest market, accounting for 67% of its turnover—sales advanced by 24.1%. Buttressed by the strong performance of Sobieski and the early success of newly introduced Krupnik vodka, Belvédère SA now claims slightly more than 20% of Poland’s vodka market. In Belvédère’s native France, where the company does roughly 18% of its business, first quarter sales grew by 7.5%. Belvédère SA’s overall first-quarter sales were up 16.5% to €141.8 million ($201.4m).
Despite its encouraging sales figures, Belvédère continues to face challenges. In April, the company was stripped of bankruptcy protection by a French court. The Dijon Tribunal of Commerce asserted Belvédère failed to complete the first term payments of its 10-year debt repayment plan and is now responsible for the full remainder of its debt, estimated at €375 million ($532.5m). Belvédère has appealed the decision, claiming that its obligations have been fulfilled and verified by commissioners.
|Belvédère SA – Leading Brands Worldwide
(millions of nine-liter cases)
|WILLIAM PEEL||Scotch Whisky||2.1||2.4||2.5||10.8%||6.4%|
|Total Leading Brands1||10.3||9.1||10.2||-11.8%||11.5%|
|1Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
2Based on unrounded data.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK