Wine unit sale hurts Diageo
Diageo, the world’s leading spirits maker, incurred a loss of £2 million on the sale of its Indian wine business last year, the company’s annual report has said.
Diageo-owned liquor firm United Spirits Ltd (USL) had sold its entire equity stake in Four Seasons Wines as well as associated brands to Grover Zampa Vineyards and Quintela Assets for Rs 31.86 crore.
“The disposal of the Indian wine business has resulted in an exceptional loss of £2 million,” Diageo said in its Annual Report 2020.
Talking about consumption preferences, Diageo said consumers who drink alcohol are increasingly choosing spirits over beer and wine.
“This is a long-term trend. In markets where spirits is a less mature category, mainstream spirits brands can offer quality and affordability. In the more mature markets, the premium core and reserve brands offer choice and new experiences,” the company said.
In January 2019, United Spirits had entered into an agreement for the sale of all the equity shares held by the company, constituting 100 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of its wholly owned subsidiary, Four Seasons Wines (FSWL), along with the brands. The total consideration received for this sale was Rs 31.86 crore.
USL had said this move towards the disinvestment of Four Seasons Wines was in line with its strategy to continue to monetise its non-core assets, including subsidiaries. At the time of the sale, USL said the Four Seasons Wines business was a niche but a small part of the overall Diageo India portfolio.