EMPERADOR, Inc. said it allocated P6.5 billion for its capital expenditure (capex) budget this year to strengthen its whiskey business.

Bulk of the capex was allotted for the expansion of the Dalmore distillery, slated for completion in the second half of the year, Emperador said in a statement to the stock exchange on Monday.

Emperador allocated a reduced capex this year compared to the P7-billion budget allotted last year.

“The expansion will double the capacity of the current Dalmore distillery,” the company said.

“The company has also started expanding the maturation complex in Invergordon, building more warehouses for whiskey aging to house the additional liquid to be produced by the larger Dalmore distillery,” it added.

Emperador also intends to use its capex to finance distillery upgrades in alignment with Whyte & Mackay’s objective to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“Distillery upgrades will be made to make operations more efficient and sustainable. Among Whyte & Mackay’s sustainability projects are an anaerobic digestion bioenergy center, and a biomass boiler system,” the company said.

A small portion of the capex will be used to upgrade the machinery and equipment of the brandy business for more efficient operations, it added.

Meanwhile, Emperador President Winston S. Co said during the virtual annual stockholders’ meeting on Monday that the company is “built for long-term growth.”

“We believe that this year, we will continue to perform hopefully better than last year. When you look at the horizon for the next five years, we are excited of the prospects because we believe that there will be a rebound in consumer spending, particularly on the super luxury category,” Mr. Co said.

“We are in the process of expanding the Dalmore facility. The Dalmore expansion will be fully completed by the end of the year. We will be able to double our capacity so we will be able to meet future requirements,” he added.

Emperador Investor Relations Officer Kenneth V. Nerecina said the company expects an even split between its brandy and whiskey revenues by next year.

“Moving forward, we remain very much optimistic about the long-term potential of Emperador. We both have diversified product and market portfolios that support our contemporize, premiumize, and internationalize strategy,” he said.

Emperador’s brand portfolio includes Emperador Brandy, Fundador brandy, The Dalmore, Fettercairn, Jura, and Tamnavulin Single Malt Scotch whiskeys. The products are available in more than 100 countries across the globe.

For the first quarter, the company logged a 25% drop in its attributable net income to P1.8 billion as consolidated revenue and other income fell by 16% to P13.1 billion due to the slowdown of the global spirits markets.

Emperador shares fell by 1.9% or 36 centavos to P18.54 apiece on Monday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave