RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Stock Spirits market share boost in Poland

Branded spirits and liqueurs producer Stock Spirits Group is showing remarkable growth at a time when others are struggling. Recent investments in Central European operations have increased production by over 75% and its market share in Poland from 10% to over 30%. Felicity Murray reports from Lublin

In just two years, Stock Spirits has achieved its goal to become the largest spirits producer in the region.  While other big players in the spirits world have focused on the US and Western Europe, Stock’s strategy is to focus on Central Europe - a region it has recognised as massively under developed – where it plans to acquire and integrate potentially strong businesses into the group and “fill portfolio gaps”.

“Being privately owned meant Stock can move quickly to finance and action all the improvements required to bring operations quickly up to world-class standards,” says Chris Heath, recently appointed chief executive.

In 2007, with backing from Oaktree Capital, the group bought Stock Polska (formerly known as Polmos Lublin), Poland’s third largest producer of vodka, known for its specialty flavoured vodkas such as Wódka Żołądkowa Gorzka as well as traditional clear vodkas.

At the time of purchase, the factory had a bottling capacity of 26m litres/year, 21,000 bottles/hour. An immediate investment by Stock of in excess of €10m in state-of-the-art production and packaging lines has increased this to over 125m litres/year, 81,000 bottles/hour – making it the fastest spirits production line in Europe.  Production is expected to rise to 167m litres/year, 91,000 bottles/hour this year.

Included in the investment was a new rectification unit with a daily efficiency of 48,000 100% vol litres, and an additional investment of €5m will see a second new unit installed to ensure consistency in quality and supply. The plant also boasts the most advanced water treatment system in Poland. The company says it committed a total of some €20m in the two-year refurbishment project.

Two new halls house the three new super-efficient bottling lines from KHS Kisters and PE Labellers which have reduced changeover times from 8 hours to one. The kit has also enabled the company to gradually halve its workforce while doubling its output.

The group’s ability to buy supplies, such as glass (from manufacturer O-I), on a group-wide basis and negotiate good prices, bespoke designs and flexibility, put it at an advantage in the local market. The site’s location is also well placed for material and packaging distribution.

The company was not slow to launch new products either. Czysta de Luxe launched in 2007 could be considered one of the world’s most successful– reaching 2.2m 9 litre cases in 2008  and has just delivered 5.2m in 2009. Stock Prestige, a premium vodka launched in September 2009 is also one to watch.

Stock Spirits Group has become one of the fastest growing companies in Central Europe, and with this month’s announcement of a new chief financial officer, Richard Guest, the company can be expected to pursue opportunities to consolidate its position as the leading branded spirits business in the region.

About Stock Spirits Group
The Stock Spirits Group was established in 2007 from the combination of Stock and Polmos Lublin, under the control of Oaktree Capital Management. Headquartered in Luxembourg, the group now has general service functions in the UK and manufacturing, sales and distribution operations in the Czech Republic, Italy and Poland, and sales and distribution facilities in the US, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Stock Spirits’ long established brands include Keglevich vodka, Stock 84 brandy and Fernet Stock bitter. More recent creations include Fernet Stock 8000 bitter, Orzel and Crysta de Luxe vodkas.

Stock Spirits has brand websites for each of its main operations: Stock Spirits International; Stock Italy; Stock in Slovenia; Stock Plzen - Božkov, the Stock Spirits company in the Czech Republic; Stock Slovakia SRO; Stock Polska, previously known as Polmos Lublin; Heritage Brands, the US operation of Stock Spirits.


Pictured below: Ian Croxford, group operations director, who project managed the purchasing and installation of the new packaging lines

1 January 2010 - Felicity Murray