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Stock Spirits’ Profit Rises, Sees ‘Significant’ Growth Potential

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Stock Spirits Group, the biggest vodka maker in Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic, said profit increased 3.6 percent in 2011 against the backdrop of a “challenging” alcohol market in central Europe.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to 63.9 million euros ($84.1 million) from 61.7 million euros in 2010, the closely-held maker of Czysta de Luxe vodka and Limonce liqueur said today in a statement. Revenue fell to 295.1 million euros from 301.9 million euros.

“Despite the continued challenging market conditions, we remain confident that the group is well placed to take advantage of opportunities to grow the business further in 2012,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Heath said in the statement.

Stock Spirits, owned by Oaktree Capital Management LLC, completed 220 million euros of refinancing Oct. 28, allowing it to consider potential acquisitions. The company sees “significant opportunities” for expansion into new markets, sales growth and acquisitions, it said today.

Market conditions are improving in Poland, the company said. It also announced an agreement with Pinnacle Drinks Partnership, a British company formed last year, to distribute select brands in the U.K. and Ireland for the first time.

Oaktree decided against an initial public offering of Luxembourg-based Stock Spirits in June 2011. The Los Angeles-based private-equity firm bought the distiller in 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Clementine Fletcher in London cfletcher5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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