Betting on growing global consumer affluence, tycoon Andrew Tan-led Emperador Inc. has mapped out a five-year expansion plan that makes a big push for premium brandy products and the growth of its global branded malt business.
“We now have a compelling malt whisky portfolio that we envision to serve as a long-term growth catalyst for Whyte & Mackay,” Tan said during the stockholders’ meeting of Emperador on Monday.
Whyte&Mackay is the storied Scottish company that Emperador acquired in 2014, the maker of ultra-luxury whisky brand Dalmore and premium brand Jura.
Under the auspices of Emperador, this offshore company has rolled out new brands, particularly single malt whiskies, Tamnavulin and Fettercain, as well as blended malt whisky, Shackleton.
Shackleton, a brand inspired by Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, will be launched in the Philippines “in a big way” in the coming months, Emperador president Winston Co said in a press briefing after the company’s stockholders’ meeting.
Estimated selling retail price is P1,250 for a 700-milligram bottle.
The vision is for Whyte&Mackay’s malt whisky business to account for 80-85 percent of the total branded business, from the current 65-70 percent. When Emperador took over this European firm five years ago, the share of the malt business to total branded business was 55 percent.
“The direction is very clear—go for high-value, high-margin, fast-growing segment of the market and we are using our global distribution strength behind this as well,” Co said, noting that across all companies under its wing, Emperador now had a footprint in over 100 countries.
The branded business accounted for 70 percent of Whyte&Mackay’s total business in 2018 while the rest came from either private label or bulk products.
The group has likewise increased Whyte&Mackay’s footprint in Asia-Pacific to 23 percent from only 2 percent when Emperador took over.
More than 40 percent of branded whisky revenues come from the United Kingdom and other European countries, with the balance from the Middle East and the Americas as well as travel retail, referring to those sold in airport duty-free shops.
The whisky business contributed P1.81 billion in net profit out of P13.53 billion in revenues in 2018. It is still smaller than Emperador’s brandy business, which chalked up P5 billion in net profit out of P34.45 billion revenues last year.
Whisky accounted for 28 percent of Emperador’s business in 2018, while brandy accounted for 72 percent.
For the brandy business, Emperador’s goal is to focus on “premiumization” in the Philippines, in a bid to secure domestic dominance while making a dent in the global liquor industry.
About 60 percent of Emperador’s business is currently derived from the Philippines but this enterprise is increasingly globalizing with the acquisition of foreign brands like Fundador, Tres Cepas and Domecq.