BELUGA GROUP announces its operational results for the 3Q and 9 months of 2021
The company's overall sales are at its 2020 high record sales level: +0.4% and +1% respectively.
The sales of the company's own brands decreased slightly -3.4% and -2.2% with that the sales of imported brands demonstrate double-digit growth: +25.3% and +22.7%.
The export sales showed a positive trend: +93.5% and +98.5%.
Beluga vodka strengthen its positions in Russia and abroad, its export sales increased on 138% and +120% respectively.
The WineLab retail chain has continued to develop: the number of outlets now exceeds 800, total sales for 9 months have increased by 27.4%.
In the Q3, sales of the company’s own brands are slightly down to 3.68 million 9L cases (-3.4% in comparison to the last year's performance), at the same time brands in the premium segment and higher demonstrated a very positive dynamic. Sales of imported brands are up by 25.3% to 735 thousand 9L cases, and the exports almost doubled + 93.5%, to 181.5 thousand 9L cases. Thus, the company’s overall sales reached 4.4 million 9L cases and showed a moderate increase in + 0.4% to the high base of 2020.
In the first 9 months of 2021, sales of the company’s own brands totaled 9.9 million 9L cases, sales of imported brands reached 1.8 million 9L cases and the export sales grew on 98.5% up to 438 thousand 9L cases, thus, the company’s overall sales increased on 1% and amounted to 11.7 million 9L cases.
Super-premium vodka Beluga accelerates both in Russia and internationally. The brand demonstrated positive trend +86.1% in the Q3, with that, export sales more than doubled: +137.7%. Impressive performance took place in the USA, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Australia.
The growth of own and imported brands in the premium segment and above continued. Sales drivers in the Q3 among the own products are Tiflis Treasure Georgian brandy, Green Baboon gin, Fox & Dogs whiskey, and the wines Golubitskoe Estate and Tête de Cheval, and among the imported – Torres brandy, Glenfiddich whisky and the wine brands. In addition, two-digit growth was demonstrated in vodka category by Beluga, Snow Owl and Arkhangelskaya.
The increase of the in-house and imported brands’ share in premium segment as well as high export sales and solid performance of Beluga vodka have a positive effect on business profitability, and also vindicate the efficiency and accuracy of the chosen premiumization and business diversification strategy.
The WineLab retail chain has continued to develop. The number of outlets now exceeds 800, total sales have increased by 27.4% compared to 9 months of the previous year. The traffic is up on 19% and the average ticket on 7%. The traffic was affected by both organic growth and acceleration in new outlets’ openings. For example, 46 new stores started operation in September. E-commerce sales continue to actively develop: sales volume grew on 170% compared to the 9 months of the previous period and number of orders – on 215%. The total number of orders issued for the reporting period exceeded 240 thousand.
Alexander Mechetin, Chief Executive Officer of BELUGA GROUP, commented on the results: “For the first nine months, the company demonstrated the result at the level of high figures of 2020, when sales surged due to the pandemic. This was achieved by diversifying the brands portfolio with a focus on the premium segment and above, the development of in-house retail chain WineLab and an increase in export sales, in the first place, of the super-premium vodka Beluga. At the same time, it is remarkable that the major part of products in premium segment achieved two-digit growth.
BELUGA GROUP not only introduces new in-house products in high-demand categories, such as Cognac, Gin, Wine, but also concludes promising agreements, assigning to the group the exclusive distribution of the world-famous brands in Russia. Thus, new contracts were signed in the third quarter: with the German company Underberg to represent XUXU liqueurs, with the American – Sazerac to distribute Southern Comfort whiskey-liquor, and with the French company – Vranken & Pommery Monopole Group, according to which the partnership is expanded to four positions, including the flagship champagne Pommery with a 185-year history.
One of the competitive advantages of BELUGA GROUP is in-house retail chain WineLab, where we continue developing e-commerce and platform winelab.ru, based on the click & collect system. We strive to provide high service for our customers, with that in mind, we have launched a number of initiatives during the reporting period, including the option to order from a warehouse and a pilot project for the installation of pick-up point equipment in several stores for more comfortable checkout process.
Beluga vodka keeps making strides: the sales increased, compared to 3Q of 2020 for more than 86% and to pre-pandemic 3Q of 2019 for more than 30%. Outside Russia, the brand shows the dynamics of +138% vs the same period of the 2020 and of more than 65% vs 2019. Significant part of the brand’s activations take place abroad. Thus, in London Beluga branded windows of Soho Wine Supply store, as well as Caviar House & Prunier Piccadilly boutique, opened a summer terrace in Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge store, which operated till September, and installed there digital-screens, in addition, branded 100 black cabs with Beluga Caviar Jar visual, – these taxi will take routes in the capital of the UK during a year. In the Mexican cities of Mexico, Cancun and Guadalajara colorful billboards of our super-premium vodka appeared in the four shopping centers of La Europea. In Bodrum Beluga Ice Bar was opened in one of the most popular places of the city, and in Montenegro the brand in collaboration with a five-star Regent hotel created the space – Onyx Bar & Garden by Beluga. The brand's rise in popularity is also evidenced by the fact that Beluga Gold Line featured in music video by The Weeknd. Special attention should be paid to opening of Beluga Caviar Bar, located in the departure area of Terminal C of Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Among important corporate events, there is significant improvement of BELUGA GROUP’s position in the Forbes ranking of the 200 largest private companies in Russia – becoming No. 167 this year. The group is the only alcohol company represented in the list, and No. 11 among agribusiness companies. Besides, BELUGA GROUP shares included in the MVIS Russia Small-Cap index, which consists of 25 securities selected based on the criteria of liquidity, capitalization and the proportion of shares in free float.
We will adhere to the strategic course, accelerating the digital transformation of the business, expanding the presence on the global arena, supporting sustainable development and responsibility. We have everything, including our popular brands, our talented team and our clear vision, to further strengthen BELUGA GROUP on the market, raise the shareholder value of the company and reach new goals.”