By Andrew Starke

Liquor wholesaler Metcash has revealed plans to ensure medium and long-term growth through new business opportunities and acquisitions.

In a presentation to a Citigroup Australian investment conference in Sydney last week, Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer outlined the wholesaler and distributor’s earnings guidance for the 2010 fiscal year.

“We are actively seeking bolt-on and new business opportunities,” he said.

However, Reitzer cautioned that while the trading environment remained strong, uncertainties continue to impact wealth and discretionary consumer spending.

Metcash subsidiary, Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), operates 18 distribution centres in Australia and New Zealand.
It supplies about 15,000 customers including hotels, liquor stores, restaurants and other licensed premises.

Reitzer said Metcash was focused on achieving sales and equity growth for Independent Brands Australia’s (IBA) three store brands: Cellarbrations, IGA Plus Liquor and Bottle-O.

“We are working with major suppliers to channel beer volumes through ALM to maximise beer distribution and consolidate delivery for independent stores,” he said.

Last month Metcash announced that its liquor division would cease to supply Woolworth’s hotel business in Queensland when its existing supply contract ends on June 30, 2010.

Earlier in the month it announced an agreement to supply groceries and liquor to supermarkets recently acquired by Foodworks from Coles, which is now part of Wesfarmers.

Metcash shares were trading at $4.61 at midday today, up from $4.56 seven days ago.

The Shout Team

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

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