Half Year Results 

Stock sees spirit in weak Italian market

Stock sees spirit in weak Italian market

Stock Spirits (STCK) has doubled down on its struggling Italian business as sales tick along from Poland and the Czech Republic, with both locales delivering double-digit increases in revenue at constant currencies, though the Polish business was subject to margin dilution due to an unfavourable product mix. The group announced that it is acquiring Czech Republic spirits business Bartida for €7.3m (£6.3m), with an additional deferred consideration of up to €3.7m over five years. The spirits manufacturer and seller has changed its accounts to a September year-end, but the pro-forma figures point to solid top-line growth, a 6.8 per cent increase in volumes, while cash profits were ahead 4.2 per cent to €33.5m. Selling expenses increased by 2.9 per cent in the period to €28.9m due to increased promotional expenditure – the full benefits of which may take some time to flow through.

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