By James Atkinson

More than 20 Franklins Liquor stores are to be rebranded as IGA Plus Liquor as a result of the supermarket chain's takeover by Metcash, Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) CEO Fergus Collins has confirmed.

Collins told analysts at Metcash's half-yearly results presentation yesterday that ALM is currently going through the licensing process to integrate the Franklins stores into the Independent Brands Australia (IBA) network, after Metcash acquired the Franklins business last year.

Further to the results released last week, Collins said IBA's performance was the key highlight in the first half of the 2013 financial year, which ended October 31. 

He said IBA opened eight stores under the Cellarbrations and Bottle-O banners in the half, predominately in Sydney, with another 15 to come in the second half.

"I'm happy to say that Lane Cove opens this Thursday, so it's actually nice to have a shop that's close to home so I don't have to drive halfway around the world to get my liquor supplies," Collins told analysts.

In addition to the company's acquisition of the Queen's Arms Hotel, which was confirmed last week, Collins said ALM had recently settled its purchase of the Mermaid Beach Hotel on the Gold Coast.

He said the on-premises segment was performing exceptionally well, with 34 per cent growth across the Cellarbrations and Harbottle on-premises businesses.

Club Partners, ALM's retail group for clubs, continued its excellent growth with over 530 members and 22 per cent sales growth, Collins said.

He said IBA was also having success with its private label strategy, particularly in beer.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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