Wray & Nephew sales up 16%

But Gruppo Campari profit declines

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business Writer jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 02, 2014

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J Wray & Nephew, led by its flagship Appleton rum brand, earned 145 million euros ($21 billion) in global sales over the nine months ending September 2013.

The amount equates to a 15.6 per cent rise year on year, according to financials from its majority owner European Campari group.

Jamaica provided one-third of the sales at ¤47.1 million, with Canada at ¤11.3 million and US at ¤7.2 million.

The bulk of brand sales came from Appleton rum which earned ¤27.9 million, followed by Wray & Nephew Over Proof White Rum at ¤22.5 million and Magnum tonic wine at ¤12.3 million.

"As expected the change in structure in the period had a significant positive impact of 16.4 per cent. This was almost entirely due to Lascelles de Mercado (LdM) acquisition which generated sales of ¤145.5 million in the first nine months of the year," the financials noted.

Campari acquired Lascelles in December 2012 for some US$409 million from Trinidad-based majority shareholder, CL Financial, and local shareholders.

Campari in the previous second quarter announced that it would slash the local workforce by 200 staff members to effect efficiencies since acquiring the operations in December 2012.

The headcount reduction forms part of the overall reorganisation at LdM, which merged 22 companies into one — Wray & Nephew Ltd on 2 August 2013 — according to the financial notes.

The departments included sales, logistics and finance.

"J Wray & Nephew Ltd will ensure an appropriate outplacement service for the staff involved," stated the notes in the September quarter.

Campari previously indicated that it merged 22 local companies into the long-standing Wray & Nephew in order to strengthen the group's route to market in Jamaica.

"The new structure, which manages the entire brand portfolio previously distributed by J Wray & Nephew and Lascelles strengthens the group's route to market in Jamaica and improves customer services with more efficient business organisation," indicated Campari in financials.

Over the review period, despite the positive performance of the local operations, the wider Campari Gruppo registered a 14 per cent reduction in profit at ¤149 million.

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