Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits reports results for 2020 and Q1 2021

29 April, 2021

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits has reported a net loss of €38.4 million for 2020.

That represents a significant improvement on the previous year, as the group’s net loss was €65.9 million in 2019.

The improved performance can be attributed to an increase in revenue and the impact of bulk sales at attractive prices.

MBWS reported net revenue (excluding excise duties) of €169.1 million in 2020, an increase of 2% on the €166.9 million net revenue it achieved in 2019.

EBITDA improved substantially, reaching €10.6 million in 2020. MBWS hailed the positive one-off effects of temporary ethyl alcohol bulk sales in Lithuania during the Covid-19 crisis, which amounted to €3.7 million, along with an improved distribution model in the United States.  

“The mobilisation of our teams during this very special year and the continued operational execution of our value creation strategy have led to an improvement in EBITDA in 2020 and demonstrate the relevance of our strategic choices,” said chief executive Andrew Highcock. “Now relying on a strengthened financial structure, the group will pursue the alignment of its costs to the size of the business on a country-by-country basis, as a key to the sustainable consolidation of its profitability.”

The group recorded modest growth in the Asia-Pacific region during 2020, but its branded business saw revenues decline slightly in all other regions. However, the impact of bulk sales at attractive prices helped to increase the gross margin rate to 42.4% in 2020, compared to 41.3% in 2019.

At the end of December 2020, the group’s net financial debt amounted to €43.6 million, down by €3.1 million compared to December 2019.

The firm has also reported unaudited net sales for the first three months of 2021. Sales were down 6.9% compared to Q1 2020, as growth of 6.6% in France was offset by a 17.1% decline in international sales.

MBWS pointed to on-trade closures in the UK, Spain and Scandinavia, which hampered its international performance.

Highcock is confident that the company will enjoy a strong future, but said it is “cautious” about its prospects for 2021.

“Focused on leading brands or brands with a growing reputation, MBWS is committed to addressing new consumer trends, seeking more naturalness and less alcoholic products,” he said. “The pandemic has also led to the emergence of home consumption of cocktails, a trend that is likely to continue.

“After these encouraging results in 2020, the group remains cautious for 2021 as the economic impact of the pandemic persists at the beginning of the year in many of its markets. We remain confident and fully committed to the success of MBWS.”

The firm agreed to sell 100% of its holding in wine brand Moncigale to parent company Grands Vins JC Boisset last year. It also finalised the sale of its MBWS Polska unit and the Polmos Łańcut distillery to Poland-based United Beverages.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.