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News Briefs for April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015

Lucas Bols has posted revenues down 0.5% on an organic basis to €78 million ($84m) for its fiscal year ended in March. The group’s North America sales slipped 4% to €14 million ($15m) at constant currency (up 1% on a reported basis), owing partly to price adjustments and shipment phasing related to the group’s opening of its own U.S. subsidiary in the previous fiscal year. Over the past six months, Lucas Bols said, its North America revenue increased 6%. Meanwhile, Western Europe, which accounts for around 45% of group revenue, was down 2% for the year, while Asia Pacific was up 2% and Lucas Bols’ emerging markets unit saw 7% growth. The company’s brands include Bols liqueurs, Bols genever, Damrak gin, Vaccari sambuca and Galliano liqueur.

•Chile’s Santa Ema winery, part of the Guarachi Wine Partners portfolio in the U.S., is passing the leadership torch to a new generation, as siblings Felix and Rossana Pavone will take over from their father, Felix Pavone Arbe, at the Maipo-based company’s helm. Felix Pavone has been named president of Santa Ema, while Rossana Pavone is now chief operating officer. Among the immediate initiatives the sibling duo will pursue is a refresh of Santa Ema’s Reserve tier, which will include new labels to increase shelf appeal, as well as incorporating new vineyard sites in the Leyda Valley. Santa Ema is known for its Reserve Merlot, which is among the top imported Merlots over $10 in the U.S. market, according to Nielsen.

•The Wine Institute has joined DISCUS in support of Trade Promotion Authority legislation making its way through Congress, which would give President Obama so-called “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade agreements like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a free trade deal brewing among 12 nations bordering the Pacific, which excludes China. Sought by the president, who says the TPP is essential to making sure U.S. standards are upheld as trade grows around the Pacific, Trade Promotion Authority is backed by a bipartisan group in Congress, but opposed by a significant portion of Democrats and a smaller number of Republicans. The Wine Institute says the TPP is necessary to achieve U.S. wine industry export goals. “Since 1989, trade agreements have helped U.S. wine exports grow from $98 million to nearly $1.5 billion in 2014,” said Wine Institute president and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch.

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