WORLD'S BIGGEST BRANDY MAKER EMPERADOR OF MANILA PLANS WHISKY FACILITY IN CHINA
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Filipino spirits maker Emperador is raising bets on the whisky segment, the company's new whisky facility in Scotland will start production next year and it is looking to invest in a joint venture in China in the coming years.
As the world’s biggest brandy producer with brands like Fundador and Terry, Emperador also owns Scotch whisky brand Dalmore through Whyte and Mackay.
Andrew Tan, Emperado's billionaire chairman, said during the company’s annual meeting on Monday that the company will double down on whisky, which grew 18 percent last year although sales volume was still about half that of its roughly P40 billion (USD712.5 million) brandy business.
“We will push forward as a whisky powerhouse,” said Tan, who started Emperador in 1979 and grew it from a small liquor factory in Manila to what it is now today.
During the meeting, company CEO Winston Co said Emperador would allocate P7b for capital expenditures, 85 percent of which will go to the whisky business as the company taps growing international preference for whiskies.
“We are on expansion mode…we have upgraded our facilities and we are building a new distillery for Dalmore,” he said.
Co added the new facility of Dalmore in Scotland will start operations in the latter part of 2024.
He also hinted at a plan to operate a Chinese joint venture in the coming years.
“We believe that with the opening up of China and with the growing middle class, China is the market to be in and we are positioning ourselves to capture that growth,” Co said.
New trade regulations between the UK and India will also provide a growth boost to whisky sales, said Emperador International CEO Glenn Manlapaz.
“The current situation in India has been very difficult for international brands to penetrate but the pending signing between the UK and India of a free trade agreement will unshackle these barriers,” Manlapaz said.
On Monday, Emperador saw its business sustain growth momentum as net income rose 10 percent to P2.3b during the first quarter of 2023 while revenues climbed 23 percent to P15.6b.
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