Central European Distribution (CEDC) Q4 2011 Earnings Call February 29, 2012 8:00 am ET Executives James Archbold - Vice President, Director of Investor Relations and Secretary William V. Carey - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Christopher Biedermann - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President Analysts Karen Eltrich - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division Edward Mundy - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division Julien Martin - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division Unknown Analyst Victoria Petrova - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division Brady Martin - Citigroup Inc, Research Division Mark Olson - RBS Research Ankur Agarwal Nicola Davies Presentation Operator
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With that, I'll turn the call over to William Carey, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Bill?William V. Carey Thank you, Jim, and welcome, everyone, to our Q4 and full year earnings call. I'll be taking you through the Polish and Russian market for the quarter 4. I'll turn over to Chris Bitterman who will take you through the financials for Q4, and I'll give an outlook for 2012. To get started [ph, we also filed our webpage a presentation, about 30 pages. So that's what we'll be going over for this presentation here today, if you could follow through that presentation. Moving to Page 3 on that presentation, Q4 Highlights Poland. Pretty much, Poland was as forecasted. We were up about 10% in volume, 12% in value. It was the first time in the year that we did highlight previously that we anticipated to have a higher revenue number growth than volume growth. The overall vodka market was down approximately 3% in volume compared to a year before, which is pretty much in line with what we predicted, around 1% to 3% reduced consumption, and yet a number of positive things for the quarter. We had a positive channel mix with increasing weight of our wholesaler trade, which is our most profitable channel. We relaunched our Soplica full range, including flavors, which is up 27%. This is a -- and the brand has continued to really do well in the January, February. We're quite encouraged by the results that we're seeing from our relaunch of Soplica. We put into export structure in light that we took over the Whitehall Group last year and the Kauffman Vodka, Green Mark, Parliament, Zubrówka. We have an increasing global export portfolio, so we put in new export structure in place in the fourth quarter.
And the one sort of negative that we did see on earnings was certainly the weaker zloty, unpredicted, which impacted not only the consolidation results but also impacted our imports -- our import business as we do import in the hard currency. So we were scrambling with suppliers to try to make sure that we've maintained a decent profitability on that import portfolio. It was very difficult and the zloty was moving down quite rapidly through the fourth quarter and through the first 2 weeks of January. And as you know, it certainly rebounded quite strongly over the last 6 weeks.Also that -- if you remember last year, we had the Biala launch back in the fourth, quarter where we spent a lot of money on that launch. Certainly, that's been a money well spent. We had Biala which grew to 6% market share that we saw currently at the end of the year, and I think we predicted 5% over 3 years that we could reach market share with this product. So we're very encouraged. We're already having 6% share of Biala in our overall business from our just first year of full year sales. If you could turn the page to Page 4 and breakdown of some of the categories that we -- as you see, export jumped out, turning export growth of 42%. The FX had a negative 12%, which offset the volume growth of -- or value growth of 12% in local currency. So you had a flat dollar growth, but the exports continue to perform well and also the beer decrease that was -- as written, a large promo a year ago which was not repeated this year. But pretty much we're in line with plan. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com