By Shane T Williams in Dubai
Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) is in great shape and is a fundamentally different business now than it was 12 months ago, CEO Doug Misener told delegates at the 2014 LMG Dubai conference this week.
LMG chairman Wayne Bayfield opened the conference on Monday by welcoming delegates, before Misener gave members an appraisal of the past 12 months.
In his opening remarks, Misener paid tribute to industry stalwart and LMG member Cyril Maloney who passed away earlier this year.
Misener said Maloney had attended many LMG conferences including the 2013 event in New York and will be sadly missed by the liquor industry. [continued below]
LMG CEO Doug Misener addresses delegates
A year on from closing its wholesaling arm HLW, Misener said LMG is building momentum. It has fully repaid its debt to Westpac, closed seven warehouse sheds around the country and has a leaner workforce with nearly 90 per cent of staff on the front line of services.
With more than 800 branded retail outlets across Bottlemart, Sip'N Save, Down Under Cellars and Harry Brown, Misener said LMG is now better able to be the marketing support business it was always intended to be.
"It's been an unbelievable year,” he said. "We are a leaner and more flexible business.”
Misener gave delegates a category breakdown of how the LMG banner groups have performed against the wider industry.
He said beer, in particular the premium and domestic segment, was a real strength with LMG outperforming the wider industry with 3.1 per cent growth, compared to industry growth of 2.2 per cent over the past year.
Misener said cider was still growing strongly at over 20 per cent across both the LMG group and the industry as a whole.
He also informed delegates that Graeme Campbell had joined the board as an independent director.