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Central and Eastern European spirits producer the Stock Spirits Group (STCK) has revealed a year-on-year increase in revenue and sales, but a decrease in profits on troubles in its core Polish business.

Overall revenue for the year to 31 December 2017 jumped up by 5.2% to €274.6m, which eclipsed the €261m sales posted in 2016.

The total sales volume climbed up by 6.5%, reaching 13.1 million nine-litre cases of alcohol sold.

However, profits for the year fell to €11.3m, a significant decrease of €17.1m from 2016.

This was attributed to exceptional charges being related to Italian business impairment of €14.9m and Polish deferred tax of €4.7m.

Nevertheless, EBITDA grew by 9.7% to €56.3m, an increase from the 2016 total of €51.4m.

There was positive news on the level of closing net debt, which fell by €6.6m down to €53.1m.

Mirek Stachowicz, Stock Spirits’ chief executive officer, said: “2016 has been a year of significant change for Stock Spirits, and we have emerged from it in a much stronger position than we were in this time last year.”

“Trading has remained challenging in our core Polish market, where there have been several significant changes in the competitive landscape. Against that backdrop, we are pleased to have made tangible progress across a range of strategic initiatives that are aimed at improving the long-term performance of the Group.”

Operational highlights for last year included a stabilised performance in Poland in a highly competitive market, and a 25% Irish whiskey investment in Quintessential Brands completed in July.

It also has high hopes for a new distribution agreements signed with Beam-Suntory, based in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the Beluga Group, whose headquarters are in Croatia and Bosnia.

In addition to new product launches through Black Fox premium herbal bitters brand in the Czech Republic, and flavour developments for the Saska range in Poland.

“We have a strong portfolio of award-winning brands, an exceptional distribution network, well-invested production facilities, and an outstanding and committed team at all levels of the organisation.” Stachowicz added.

Morning update

Aldi has pledged its support for the UK Plastics Pact – a new cross-sector initiative from WRAP that aims to transform the UK plastics system and tackle plastic pollution.

The pact is part of Aldi’s own packaging reduction strategy, with Aldi also announcing it will ensure that all packaging on its own-label products will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.

To achieve this goal, Aldi has announced that it plans to scrap 5p carrier bags as part of its work to cut the amount of packaging and plastics used by both its business and its customers.

The supermarket will instead offer customers bags for life as well as reusable 9p bags made from back-of-store plastic waste.

On the markets this morning, The FTSE 100 has fallen slightly by 0.2% so far down to 7,130.27, after a more encouraging day yesterday where the index peaked at 7,192.3pts just before midday, as fears of a trade war mount following Donald Trump’s tariff policies.

Stock Spirits, which reported its annual results this morning, has opened down 1.4% to 277.5p on the news.

Unilever (ULVR), has started the day by making a slender increase of 0.1%, up to 3,744.5, while Cranswick (CWK) has had a boost of 0.7%, reaching 2,994.40.

So far it has been a slow start for supermarkets, with Tesco (TSCO), down to 0.3% to 210.3p, followed by Morrisons (MRW) down by 0.2% to 225.2p , and Sainsbury’s (SBRY) amid controversy over its new pay structure, falling by 0.1% to 244,4p.

Fallers so far include Majestic Wine (WINE), down 1.6% to 438.5p, PayPoint (PAY), down 1.1% to 806p and Bakkavor (BAK), down 1.1% to 186p.

Risers include Just Eat (JE), back up 2.4% to 762.4p, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 1.5% to 350p and Marks & Spencer (MKS), up 1.3% to 290.3p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 continued its recovery from last week’s slump, climbing another 0.4% to 7,146.8pts yesterday.

Investors declared Tesco (TSCO) the winner of the Kantar Worldpanel and Nielsen market share data, with the supermarket jumping 3.7% to 211.6p.

Sainsbury’s (SBRY), in contrast, fell back 3.4% to 244.4p on a weaker than expected market share showing.

The day’s major FTSE 100 mover was takeaway firm Just Eat (JE), which slumped 13.3% back to 738.5p after announcing a surprise writedown on its Australia and New Zealand business drove the group to report an annual loss.

Elsewhere, PureCircle (PURE) was up 0.9% to 417.5p after announcing its own annual results and a return to strong top-line growth.

Other risers yesterday included Greencore (GNC), up 2.1% to 178.2p, Majestic Wine (WINE), up 3.1% to 443p, McColl’s (MCLS), up 2.8% to 255p, SSP Group (SSPG), up 1.7% to 618p, B&M European Value Retail (BME), up 1.6% to 423.3p and Ocado Group (OCDO), up 1.4% to 553.8p.

Fallers included C&C Group (CCR), down 3.5% to €2.75, Greggs (GRG), down 1.6% to 1,206p and Dairy Crest (DCG), down 1.4% to 543p.