BELUGA GROUP signed an agreement on the exclusive distribution of the William Grant & Sons brand portfolio in Russia in 2011, thus launching the import segment of the business.
Over the past decade, the sales of William Grant & Sons in Russia have expanded by nearly 5 times. A number of specific brands grew manifold: The Balvenie quadrupled, Glenfiddich tripled, Hendrick's made a sevenfold leap, and Tullamore D.E.W. sales increased six times. What's more, Grant's is today's №3 among blended Scotch whiskies in the middle segment of the Russian market. Glenfiddich ranks second among single-malt whiskies in the premium segment, and Tullamore D.E.W holds the same position among Irish whiskeys.
Alexander Mechetin, Chief Executive Officer of BELUGA GROUP, comments: "William Grant & Sons was our first-ever import partner, and even 10 years later this partnership remains fundamental for us: the largest in terms of turnover and profit, with a dominant share in the import business. Together, we have handled so many challenging tasks, from retail and distribution consolidation to the development of the premium and higher-grade segments. For instance, we started importing Monkey Shoulder to Russia in 2012, and by now it has become one of the top 5 largest brands of malt whisky in the country, as well as the fastest growing premium malt whisky. But there's even more to the results of this partnership than better sales, financial figures, and brand performance. Both our teams share experience and help each other grow. I'd like to emphasize that we have super-ambitious plans for increasing sales and claiming an even larger share of the market."
Eduard Bakhurinsky, General Manager of William Grant & Sons in Russia and the CIS, further notes: "Russia is one of our priority markets. The decision to entrust the exclusive distribution of our brands in Russia to BELUGA GROUP was motivated by the cultural similarities between our two companies, a shared vision of how we should develop our business, the business model of BELUGA GROUP, which as early as in 2011 already possessed one of the country's most resilient distribution platforms, and their motivation to succeed. Today, we can safely say that we have made the right choice: our sales are experiencing high-base growth, the premium portfolio of William Grant & Sons is showing stunning results, and our super-premium products, such as 40- and 50-year-old whiskies, get sold out in Russia before they even arrive at the warehouse. All of this is glowing testimony to the team's unmatched expertise in the high-end price segments. Together with BELUGA GROUP, we will continue tapping into the true potential of the Russian market — and there is still so much to tap in, so we are in for a dynamic future."