By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
Independent Liquor Group (ILG) chief executive officer Allen De Costa has revealed significant growth for the co-operative to delegates at its annual conference in South Africa.
De Costa reported growth across the group’s on and off-premise channels in the wake of new partnerships in Queensland and New South Wales and increased membership across its Little Bottler and Super Cellars banner groups.
“During 2014 our sales were up seven per cent and our income increased by 14 per cent which was absolutely fantastic. Little Bottler and Super Cellars have increased from 103 outlets in 2012 to 415. We’ve opened a new warehouse in Queensland, we signed the agreement for that in March, and it’s a great problem to have in that our facility is already too small,” De Costa said.
“In a very tough market, we’re up $17 million and the majority of this is the signing up of new business."
De Costa said the new deal signed with the Star Group of hotels in Queensland will give the group a stronger foothold in the state, where it has traditionally struggled to secure larger accounts.
“This new deal gives us real credibility in the Queensland market. We’ve been there for about seven or eight years and it has been very hard to crack any of the big volume accounts and while we had great support from our existing members, this gives us a hell of a lot more credibility and we expect to see a lot more business come our way.”
ILG has also welcomed several New South Wales-based on-premise operators to the group, while it plans to ramp up its offering to Little Bottler and Super Cellars outlets.
“We very recently signed the Lantern Group in NSW with 13 outlets, along with the Patrick Group and the Riversdale Group as well as some new individual outlets as well. With regards to our tier one banners of Little Bottler and Super Cellars, we will be offering our members improved services, better planogram advice, and store layout.”
Delegates will be travelling to Cape Town on Friday for the second part of the conference, which includes supplier presentations from Treasury Wine Estates, Lion, and Carlton & United Breweries along with a tour of SABMiller’s Newlands brewery and a tour of the Stellenbosch winelands.