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The spirit of going global

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Over the past years, Emperador Inc. has successfully strengthened its position in the liquor industry. It is able to sustain its leadership in the Philippine market, and has made bold steps to explore global routes through acquisition of major foreign brands. Every year, the company always meets the challenges brought by the extremely competitive spirits industry, which deserves a good toast.

Emperador is off to a good start this 2018 as it recorded a positive growth from its international operations – Scotch whisky and Spanish brandy – in the first quarter. The single malt whisky business, in particular, continues to enjoy greater demand globally. Similarly, the brandy business continues to geographically expand its reach on the back of greater distribution, visibility, and availability.

In the first three months of the year, the company’s net income went up 6% to P1.58 billion, and its revenue likewise increased 8.5% to P9.7 billion, compared from the figures it recorded in the same period in 2017.

Emperador is a holding company that operates an integrated business of manufacturing, bottling and distributing distilled spirits and other alcoholic beverages from the Philippines and Europe. It owns Emperador Distillers, Inc. (EDI), Scotch whisky maker Whyte and Mackay Group, and Bodegas Fundador in Spain.

The company’s consolidated product portfolio is comprised of domestic and foreign brands led by Emperador Light, Emperador Deluxe, Andy Player Whisky, Smirnoff Mule, The Bar, The Dalmore and Jura Scotch single malt whiskies, and Fundador, among others.

Through EDI, which is the Philippines’ largest liquor company and the world’s largest brandy producer, Emperador has established its identity in the Philippine alcoholic beverages business. Aside from sustaining its dominance, Emperador is expanding its brand footprint in the global market.

It was in early 2013 when the company first established its roots outside the country when it found ground in Spain with the acquisition of Bodega San Bruno, and an investment in Bodega Las Copas in the following year.

From Spain, it has reached United Kingdom when it acquired Whyte and Mackay in October 2014. This move has given the company the chance to enter the global Scotch whisky business.

The company returned its sight in Spain with the acquisition of brandy and sherry business under Bodegas Fundador in 2016 as well as the acquisition of Domecq brandy, and wine brand portfolio and related assets in 2017.

The company’s efforts to acquire new assets not only allowed Emperador to grow its portfolio outside the country, they also provided platform for domestic premiumization, which the company says is a “key to long-term growth.”

“While there’s a need to solidify and future-proof dominance in local liquor, there’s also a great potential in higher price points, and that’s where other brands like Tres Cepas and Fundador come in, for instance,” Emperador said. “Premiumization is unique to Emperador in general, since local competitors don’t have a broad array of products that capture various price points.”

Within its premiumization focus, it has successfully launched Fundador Supremo 12YO, 15YO, and 18YO in the Asian markets through the Duty Free channel.

Fundador Supremo 18YO, which was named “Brandy of the Year” at the 2017 China Wines and Spirits Awards, spearheaded a new Super Premium category within the brandy segment that targets new consumers of the single malt and cognac segments.