FT Business of Rum Special Report with my article!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dbc62760-0adf-11e5-98d3-00144feabdc0.html

 

June 26, 2015 6:44 pm
Caribbean rum strategy wants more sip and not mix

Ian Williams

Although rum is a global drink, made across the tropics and drunk in all climate zones, its name shows its deep roots in the English-speaking Caribbean. It first appeared in Barbados in the mid-17th century, as “Rumbullion, alias Kill-Devil . . . made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor”. The pioneering distillers soon discovered that redistilling the first flow made it considerably less hellish.

In a further boost to palatability, the only way to export rum in quantity was in the oak casks that were the shipping containers of the day, and soon drinkers discovered that rum, above all spirits, benefits from ageing in oak.

By the turn of the 17th century Jamaica too had begun to make rum. It soon eclipsed Barbados in production and British West Indies rum dominated the world. To make rum, the colonists used molasses, the byproduct of sugar-refining. That gave the British an economic edge as well as rum expertise since, until the end of the 18th century, French and Spanish monarchs prohibited their colonies from producing any spirits that would rival their domestic industries.

Rum was appreciated in the heart of the empire as well. In 2011 an inventory of Earl Harewood’s cellars in England discovered bottles of Barbadian rum laid down in 1780. Once the encrusted cobwebs were polished off, Christie’s sold a dozen of the bottles for £78,255 in January 2014. It followed with 16 further bottles, raising another £135,713 last December. That gave bottles of aged dark rum a premium price of £11,162 each. It was a telling reminder that the fortunes of much of Britain’s landed gentry were in Caribbean plantations, sugar and rum — not to mention slavery.

The Royal Navy’s adoption of rum, usually Caribbean, as its restorative of choice certainly helped bulk sales, but a government-guaranteed market of millions of gallons of what one could call a “robust” rum might not have spurred premium quality. Although the Pussers brand, based on the Navy’s official formula, attracts devoted customers today it is open to debate whether the tradition or the liquor is the greatest attraction.

Even before the Harewood sale Anglo-Caribbean rum makers were rediscovering that premium, aged rums have a growing market that adds value for consumer and distiller alike. But brand-building is an expensive business, even more so with premium spirits that need decades of lead time to build and age stocks. Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets. Nor is it enough to have a quality product, since makers have to tell discerning drinkers about it and supply the product in quantities that deliver economies of scale in a crowded market place.

Frank Ward of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association was prominent in the “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque campaign, funded by EU “reparations” for ending trade preferences that had protected the Caribbean against Latin American competition. He notes that, with a few exceptions, the English-speaking Caribbean has concentrated on bulk rum production, selling their products to be bottled and branded by others. This surrenders the high, value-added ground to the bottlers.

The premium share of the market is expanding rapidly as drinkers treat aged rums as sipping spirits rather than as mixers for cocktails. Both Appleton Estate and Mount Gay, the market leaders in the region, have responded to this and adopted a similar strategy — maintaining high-prestige “flagship” rums and concentrating on premium blends of consistent age and quality and to some extent cutting adrift the local markets’ favourite cheaper brands. Significantly, Campari had taken over Appleton and Rémy Cointreau Mount Gay, so both had become part of large global companies with the resources to invest in production and marketing and the courage to risk upsetting local island consumers and build exports.
“Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets”Tweet this quote

It appears that smaller brands, such as El Dorado or Angostura, will have to risk losing some of their local character. Deals with, and access to, the marketing resources of the leading spirits producers may well be what is required to make an impression on a waiting world.

Mr Ward believes the EU Caribbean rum programme did help smaller brands obtain more exposure. But he adds: “It takes years to build a brand of rum and the first programme [which] only ran 18 months helped some suppliers to diversify, but it has a long way to go”.

The smaller, yet distinguished brands from Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent have appreciative consumers but find it difficult to secure distribution, particularly in the US liquor market whose structure is a hangover from Prohibition. If these brands cannot fill a container, they are at an immediate disadvantage. The “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque did help publicise these smaller entrants, but Mr Ward says the campaign benefited all rums worldwide.

Nonetheless, the investment in premium brand-building by companies such as Rémy Cointreau and Campari is raising the prestige of the whole rum category, something that is sure to continue.

Barbancourt 150!

When pushed to choose, I usually call Barbancourt 15 my favorite!

Rumpundit

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt Celebrates 150 Years With Special Edition

December 24, 2012 | 2:10 pm | Print

Above: the Cuvee 150 Ans

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt is launching a new special edition to mark the company’s 150th anniversary, the company announced.

Barbancourt’s Cuvee 150 Ans is a special blend in an art deco bottle developed in partnership with international designer Mickael Kramer.

Each crystal bottle will have its own unique number and a sandblasted Rhum Barbancourt anniversary logo.

While it will initially be available only in Haiti, the company said it would soon be expanding its availability to the United States and Canada.

Barbancourt has been produced continuously since 1862 (coincidentally, the same year that Don Facundo Bacardi started operations in Cuba), with the exception of a period following Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.

Rum Rebellion?

Rumpundit from the beginning of this saga has maintained that the Caricom countries have a great case for the WTO. Interesting point for the future… does the Puerto Rico statehood vote affect the subsidy down the line?

Rumpundit
Rum, rivalry, resistance

Sir Ronald Sanders

23 December 2012

THE Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade ministers issued a statement on December 11 stating that “Caricom countries continue to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States market resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories”.

After seven months of writing about this matter, I welcome this statement from the trade ministers underlying that “rum production and export are critical to the social and economic well-being of the region”.

Much valuable time has been lost and much has to be done quickly if the rum industry of the CARIFORUM countries is not to be displaced in the US market. CARIFORUM consists of the 14 independent Caricom countries and the Dominican Republic.

In previous commentaries I drew attention to the adverse effects on CARIFORUM countries if the USVI and Puerto Rico governments continue to provide massive subsidies to rum companies in their territories — derived from a tax refund from the US Federal Government called a “cover-over” tax. To recap, CARIFORUM countries stand to lose US$700 million in foreign exchange annually, the jobs of 15,000 workers directly employed in the rum industry, and another 60,000 jobs that benefit from it. Governments will lose over US$250 million in annual tax revenues.

I have also pointed out that bulk rum producers in some Caricom states have already lost contracts in the US market valued at millions of dollars because of the cheaper prices of the heavily subsidised USVI rum producers.

This situation will get far worse as these heavily subsidised companies increase production.

Because I had also pointed out that the CARIFORUM country that would be the biggest loser is Barbados, it is encouraging to see Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart stating in Parliament on December 18 that, “We cannot rule out the prospect of this matter reaching the WTO”, although he added, “but that is not the first-resort expedience”. Rum exports to the US market in 2010 were worth US$17.2 m to Barbados — twice as much as its exports to the European Union market.

Delay in taking firm action is not in the interest of CARIFORUM countries. The longer they wait to stop these subsidies, the more unfairly entrenched the subsidised companies in the USVI and Puerto Rico will become in the US market.

Diplomatic efforts have been made consistently during the past few months and, by all accounts, the Barbadian ambassador to the US, John Beale, has been particularly active. But these efforts have produced no meaningful results. A letter written on August 24 to US President Barack Obama by St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, as chairman of Caricom, has remained unanswered, and a previous letter on August 9, sent by CARIFORUM ambassadors in Washington to the US trade Representative, Ron Kirk, received a non-committal reply in October.

This led Caricom trade ministers, at their December meeting, to call on the US Government “to engage early with Caribbean rum-producing countries with a view to achieving an outcome that will support the continued competitive access for Caribbean rum to the US market”.

Frankly, there is not much chance of the US Government responding to that call, anymore than anyone should expect — as has been suggested — US Attorney-General Eric Holder to be helpful because “his parents were born in Barbados”.

The US Government did not pick this fight. Neither did the CARIFORUM countries. The local governments of the USVI and Puerto Rico have created the situation. Unfortunately for the US Federal Government, it has responsibility for the actions of its territories under international law and treaties. So, inasmuch as neither the US Government nor the CARIFORUM governments like it, they have a dispute on their hands, and it cannot be solved by diplomatic consultations alone. In the US, this is not a matter for the Government only; Congress also has a hand in it. And little or nothing will be done without compulsion.

The only compulsion is what some CARIFORUM governments appear reluctant to invoke, and that is to take the matter to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

CARIFORUM governments have received at least three expert legal opinions that WTO rules have been violated by the actions of the USVI and Puerto Rico governments, and they have an eminently winnable case against the US at the WTO. There should be no stopping them now.

Throughout its history, rum producers from Caricom countries have faced unfair rivalry. They have been compelled to resist, as recorded in the excellent account, Rum, Rivalry and Resistance by Tony Talburt, published by Hansib in 2010.

Resistance continues to be necessary to safeguard this spirit which is so deeply intertwined with our Caribbean civilisation. The Government of the Dominican Republic has shown its readiness to proceed to the WTO; indications are that Barbados may now be willing to join. All of the governments of the CARIFORUM countries have a duty of care to their people; they will be doing no more than fulfilling that duty by going to the WTO. At the very least, the governments of Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago should throw their weight behind the Dominican Republic and Barbados.

Those CARIFORUM countries that do not join resistance at the WTO will not only show no spirit, they will also be entitled to no benefits that may be awarded. And, if none of them do anything other than engage in the delaying exercise of diplomatic consultations with the US, more than the spirituous Caribbean rum will die; the Caribbean spirit of resistance will die too.

The US Trade Representative’s Office is expert at prolonging “consultations” and delaying WTO arbitration. But time is not on the side of CARIFORUM rums, as trade ministers agreed.

Sir Ronald Sanders is a consultant and visiting fellow, London University

Responses and previous commentaries: www.sirronaldsanders.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rum–rivalry–resistance_13259063#ixzz2GLDKh0VE

Dancing on the Cap’n’s Grave?

As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico Hopes to Keep the Rum Business Lucrative With New Distillery

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Published at 1:15 pm, July 8, 2011
Image

Photo Credits: As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico is Hoping to Keep the Rum Business Going With New Distillery

Near San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former pharmaceutical plant is being transformed into a rum distillery in hopes of helping the economy recover from the loss of Captain Morgan rum.

The new distillery is being developed by Club Caribe Distillers LLC, a local bottler of Coca-Cola, and agreements to produce rum in bulk for third parties has already been made. However, the company is also looking to break into the U.S. market with new products: a white rum called Club Caribe, a spiced rum called Black Roberts, and Ron Carlos, a dark rum.

“We see a great opportunity to increase the demand for local rum in the United States,” said Alberto Rivera, senior vice president and principal finance officer for Club Caribe.

When at full capacity, the plant should be able to produce 10 millions gallons of rum per year, though as part of the 20-year deal, only 2 million gallons of rum will be produced in the plant’s first year. It is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.

Club Caribe is expected to employ 25 people and invest $10 million in machinery and equipment in the former GlaxoSmithKline building. In the first year, it is believed the plant’s production will eventually generate $20 million in revenue for the island.

As Captain Morgan leaves the island, the U.S. commonwealth is expected to lose $140 million in. The rum producer is moving “next door”, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The rum industry has created 4,500 direct and indirect jobs. It also provides the government with around $400 million annually in rum rebate revenue.

The new distillery is located in the mountain town of Cidra, Puerto Rico.

Pirate Ambush?

A cunning piratical ambush – while Bacardi grapples alongside Havana Club.. Cap’n Morgan swoops in and gets the gold..Rumpundit

Diageo aims to take on Bacardi

  • By Robyn Black
  • 14/04/2011 09:14

Diageo has announced its intention to take on Bacardi to become the number one rum company in the world by 2015.

Captain Morgan: kick-starting Diageo push to become number one rum company 

The owner of rum brands Captain Morgan, Bundaberg and Pampero currently has a 17% share of the UK rum market and sees further growth coming from golden and dark rum and golden rum-based spirits.

To kick-start the push, the company has earmarked £7m for its Morgan’s Spiced brand, renaming it Captain Morgan’s Spiced and investing in a TV campaign and on-trade push.

“Consumers may already be aware of the Captain Morgan brand from the dark rum currently available in the UK market,” said marketing manager Ali Wilkes.

“The addition of the Captain figurehead to the title and the label of Morgan’s Spiced will create synergy across the two brands and also give Morgan’s Spiced an identifiable personality.”

The campaign will be aimed at 18 to 24-year-old male drinkers and focus on the “Captain and cola” serve, which is already the number two bar call in the US, according to Diageo.

As well as the planned TV campaign, set for this autumn, the company is joining forces with the NUS, Luminar and other pub companies to host 3,000 party nights, due to be held between this June and June of next year.

Sampling, PoS kits and visits from the Captain and his “Morganettes” will create buzz and excitement around the brand, said Wilkes.

Cubans sell 4 million cases! And nary a drop in the US

 

Havana, April 12 (IANS) Cuba expects to sell four million cases of its flagship rum Havana Club in 2011, despite a US decision not to renew its marketing license in the country, president of the state-owned Cuban Rum Corporation said here.

‘The Cuban industrial capability is at a very high level,’ president of the Cuban Rum Corporation Juan Gonzalez said, adding they expected rum exports would reach more than $100 million in 2011.

Arian Remedios, legal advisor of Havana Club International, said the company sold 3.8 million cases of rum in 2010, a growth of 14 percent over the previous year, reported Xinhua.

A US federal appeal court in Washington decided last week not to renew the marketing licence of the Cuban brand in the US, which was acquired by Cuba in 1976, due to the embargo against the island which has been in effect since 1962.

However, the Cuban government said the sentence favoured the US Bacardi Rum group.

The French group Pernod-Ricard and the Cuban Rum Corporation, which formed the joint venture Havana Club International, have been fighting with the Bacardi group since 1994 for the license of selling the Havana Club brand in the US market.

And Did Trelawney (Gold) Die?

“And did Trelawney die” was the song of the Western Men, whose defeated prisoners might well have ended up as indentured labour in Jamaica. Trelawney Gold did die, but who knows it might be coming back – in spirit at least! Rumpundit.

Husseys make another half-billion bet on Long Pond

Published: Sunday | April 3, 2011 2 Comments

A front view of the Long Pond Estate in Clark's Town, Trelawny. The factory has a history of being the largest employer in the community and used to produce the famed Trelawny Gold Rum.
A front view of the Long Pond Estate in Clark’s Town, Trelawny. The factory has a history of being the largest employer in the community and used to produce the famed Trelawny Gold Rum.

Mark Titus, Business Reporter

Hussey family, controlled Everglades Farms Limited is investing more than US$6 million (J$515 million) to modernise the Long Pond sugar estate that was shuttered after a disastrous start to its first year as a sugar manufacturer in the 2009-10 season.

Long Pond then churned 1,400 tonnes of sugar, easily the worst in the history of the plant.

Two years ago, Everglades acquired Long Pond in a package that includes the Hampden Estates, both located in Trelawny, but was forced to sit out the 2010-11 crop year after it was agreed that substantial work was needed in order to realise the potential capacity of the new assets.

“When we acquired the assets, it was in very bad condition, and we got no opportunity to see how it ran,” Outman Hussey, Everglade’s design and special projects manager, told Sunday Business in an interview on Wednesday.

“When we did take over, the first thing we saw that did not make sense was the oil usage,” said Hussey, a director of the company and professor of architecture at Howard University.

“You could not supply Bunker C oil by a tanker fast enough …”.

Hussey said Everglades relied on the evaluation of the engineers from SCJ Holdings to diagnose the problem and come up with the solution solution, but came to regret that decision.

“Records will show that we did everything that was recommended to be done and more, but when we started the factory the following season it was very apparent that it was not going to happen,” he said.

The Husseys, known mainly in tourism and horse-racing circles, brought in international experts and evaluators in the industry, and is now accepting bids for the engineering work to be done which will see Long Pond retrofitted to ensure that the factory can churn sugar cane throughout the season once commissioned.

The new crop year kicks off at around December.

“It is hard when you are used to doing business in a more private setting to come in a business that is constantly in the public domain, but we think we now have the right people in the right place to now do things the right way,” a more reserved Andrew Hussey, also a director, said.

This will include returning the boilers to the design specifications that they were made for, and eliminating the use of oil at the factory, relying totally on bagasse.

Everglades’ business plan goes beyond sugar production and calls for a diversified product: rum and tourism.

“In diversification, you have to look at what the region is, what the region has to offer, and what the resources are in terms of materials, lands, the people, and the skill level, and then you can determine the matrix,” Andrew said.

Tourism is a key part of the company’s plan, which details a tourism product that includes a rum museum for Hampden, a sugar cane museum for Clark’s Town, and tours of the great houses and sugar cane mills now being refurbished. Horses are also being bred on the properties.

The family said their entry into sugar was easy, as the senior Hussey, Laurie, had been a cane farmer years ago, supplying the Bernard Lodge factory in St Catherine.

“Our dad does not want to see land waste, and what that has done for us as the younger ones is help us to see empty land as not good,” said Andrew.

Everglades employs almost 40 persons on the estates’ farms where crops such as cabbage, lettuce, tomato, pak choi, sweet pepper, hot pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Irish potato, string beans, carrot, sweet corn, pumpkin, sweet potato, pineapple, cantaloupe, water melon, thyme, escallion, and onion are planted for the hospitality industry in Western Jamaica.

“In this model, you come to Everglades and there will be a number of different job opportunities, whether it is in rum, horses, sugar, or tours,” said Outman.

“Sugar is very important in the mix of our diversified products because we will need sugar more now than before, especially good, organic sugar. And that is why the cane farmers must know that they are a very important part of our plans going forward. We will need their cane to complement ours to produce the quality sugar we intend for a proper return on our investment,” he said.

The entire plan will be rolled out over a five to 10-year period. For now, the Husseys say the next milestone is packaging and marketing their own branded sugar.

The family says its sales of bulk rum to Europe are up 30 per cent since 2009, and they will be developing a warehouse for rum storage. They were unwilling to speak to the details of the project, however.

Hampden has launched a new spirit, Rum Fire, in partnership with Red Stripe Jamaica as its distributor. The Husseys hope to capture 20 per cent of the Jamaican rum market over time. The market is dominated by Wray and Nephew.

Both Hampden and Long Pond figured prominently during the heyday of sugar production in western Jamaica, and at one time, were chief sources of income for residents of Clark’s Town and other Trelawny communities.

However, in the last two decades, sugar hit a steady decline and the estates and their equipment aged.

At the turn of this decade – the 2000-01 crop – the two factories produced a combined 20,000 tonnes of the sweetener, 5,000 tonnes of which came from the smaller estate, Hampden.

The tonnage, quoted by itself, tells little, but consider that just three years before, in 1997, Hampden alone, which had the capacity for 15,000 tonnes, was churning out 12,000 tonnes of sugar.

Despite the availability of some 1,284 hectares of land for planting cane, only 676 hectares were put into cultivation for the 2000-01 crop.

The estate, which was teetering on the brink of financial ruin and had been rescued by the Government in the 1990s under the bailout programme for the financial sector, would later be placed in receivership.

Before that time, the estate was controlled by the Farquharson family.

The records show that during the 1997-2002 period, Hampden sustained losses of more than J$45 million.

Long Pond and other sugar assets were last in private ownership under a deal in 1993 that gave 51 per cent control to a Wray and Nephew-led consortium, that included Cliff Cameron’sManufacturers Investment Limited and Booker Tate Limited of the United Kingdom.

Each private partner held 17 per cent, whereas the Jamaican Government retained a minority 49 per cent.

The state would eventually re-acquire the SCJ after the consortium failed to turn the company into a money-maker.

Under the deal with Everglades, the new owners must maintain 60 per cent of the leased lands for sugar-cane production or related products for 15 years.

The deal covers the two factories and surrounding 40 hectares of land, plus an additional 7,100 hectares, which are leased for US$40 per hectare per annum for the first 10 years of the agreement.

For 2010-11, the company has planted 5,000 hectares of new cane, and will plant an additional 1,408 hectares of cane over the four years to follow, which is projected to yield 280,000 tonnes of cane in the next five years.

“This means businesses in the communities will see an increase in trade, taxis will have more passengers to carry, and there will be additional opportunities for employment,” said Outman.

“So in essence, we are mixing green infrastructure with traditional, infrastructure, and in that way, we are conducting a business while preserving the heritage.”

mark.titus@gleanerjm.com

85 Lashes Rum!



Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s rum across Missouri

St. Louis Business Journal – by Kelsey Volkmann

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 12:32pm CDT

Jesse Jones 

Amalgamated Brewing and Distilling Co. said Thursday it reached a deal with Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s 85 Lashes Rum beyond St. Louis to throughout Missouri.

Amalgamated, a craft brewer and micro-distillery in St. Louis led by President Jesse Jones, hand distills its rum in small batches.

The expanded distribution deal is expected to boost Amalgamated’s revenue this year by $500,000 to approximately $3 million, Vice President Brad Wheeling said.

“Glazer’s is in every bar, restaurant and liquor store,” he said.

Amalgamated’s previous distributor, Classique, is a smaller, specialty distributor, he said.

Wirtz Beverage Group distributes 85 Lashes in Illinois.

Amalgamated also owns and operates Jake’s Steaks on Laclede’s Landing and The Stable in Benton Park.

Amalgamated Brewing and Distilling Co. said Thursday it reached a deal with Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s 85 Lashes Rum beyond St. Louis to throughout Missouri.

Amalgamated, a craft brewer and micro-distillery in St. Louis led by President Jesse Jones, hand distills its rum in small batches.

The expanded distribution deal is expected to boost Amalgamated’s revenue this year by $500,000 to approximately $3 million, Vice President Brad Wheeling said.

“Glazer’s is in every bar, restaurant and liquor store,” he said.

Amalgamated’s previous distributor, Classique, is a smaller, specialty distributor, he said.

Wirtz Beverage Group distributes 85 Lashes in Illinois.

Amalgamated also owns and operates Jake’s Steaks on Laclede’s Landing and The Stable in Benton Park.


Angostora’s Bitter?

It was sold as an attempt to build a regional giant to compete in world markets – but there’s something about financial engineering that takes the heart out of distillation…Rumpundit

Exodus from Lascelles’ board

McConnell, Bell and Abrahams stepping down

BY AL EDWARDS Caribbean Business Report Editor aledwards@jamaicaobserver.com

 

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

 

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THREE Jamaican Board members of Trinidadian-acquired conglomerate Lascelles De Mercado, namely William McConnell, Anthony Bell and Jason Abrahams are to step down, the Jamaica Observer understands.

Managing Director of Lascelles, McConnell, is credited with turning the rum division into a world-class outfit and one of the best rum producers in the region.

William McConnell

1/1

He joined Lascelles subsidiary J Wray & Nephew as Financial Accountant in 1973 and has served as Managing Director of the Wray & Nephew Group of Companies since 1977.

Bell served as Group Finance Director having been with the group for well over two decades. He played a vital role in turning the flagship division – Rum, Wines and Liquors – into a powerhouse and oversaw Canada overtaking Mexico as Appleton’s biggest overseas market.

The prospect of both McConnell and Bell forming a consortium and acquiring the rum division and spinning it off from the Group has been mooted for sometime, especially given the heavily indebted status of parent company CL Financial.

Abrahams meanwhile, is a Jamaican investment banker based in Florida who was instrumental in structuring and securing the deal that saw CL Financial subsidiary Angostura acquire Lascelles in 2008.

In that year Lawrence Duprey’s CL Financial raised external debt financing in the amount of US$450 million to finance the Lascelles acquisition which amounted to US$676 million.

For its money, CL Financial got 86.87 per cent of Lascelles’ common stock.

With Duprey’s group of companies falling asunder in 2009, CL Financial Group’s financial director Michael Carballo intimated at Lascelles AGM that year, that CL Financial may have to turn to Lascelles to finance the US$340 million loan balance it had from the purchase of the Jamaican conglomerate.

One of the major problems CL Financial had was the intertwining of assets and its insatiable thirst for cash which served to bedevil the fortunes of Lascelles’ group of companies. The financial uncertainty and inability to  provide a coherent direction for the Jamaican group may well be a contributory factor in seeing McConnell, Bell and Abrahams heading for the door.

In 2010, Lascelles’ third-quarter sales for the period ending June 30 slumped by $700 million to come in at $6 billion. Net profit dramatically fell to $363 million from $1.39 billion for the same period in 2009.

For the first quarter ended December 31, 2010, Lascelles reported unaudited consolidated earnings results which saw  an operating profit of $931.1 million and a net profit of $821.3 million on operating revenues of $7.1 billion.

Lascelles is expected to report its second quarter 2011 results on May 11.

Bundaberg Bounds Back

Bundy Rum gets a revamp

Emily Prain | 26th March 2011

THE city's famous Bundaberg Rum is going under the knife for a brand makeover aiming to bring more sophistication to its product.BDC Bondstore staff members Teena Hetherington, Shannyn Smith and Haley Cassady with the new branding.

Mike Knott

THE city’s famous Bundaberg Rum is going under the knife for a brand makeover aiming to bring more sophistication to its product, and put common stereotypes of its drinkers to rest.

The starting point is a new logo for the Bundaberg Distilling Company, which includes its three founding fathers, the famous Bundy rum bottle shape and the cane sugar that made the region famous all those years ago.

Bundaberg Distilling Company marketing manager Matt Bruhn said it was important for the brand to not lose touch with its consumers.

“We are constantly keeping up to date,” he said.

The NewsMail took to the streets to find out what people’s perceptions of the brand were and the majority of the responses associated the brew with being “ochre” and “bogan” – and not appealing to women.

“That’s not how we see it – we like to be seen as a great Aussie brand,” Mr Bruhn said.

He claimed 50% of the drop’s drinkers were women and said the company was proud of that fact.

Mr Bruhn said other changes for the famous brand included an entire update of all packaging, new advertising, the release of the 10-year-old Master Distillers Collection and the launch of a new website,

www.bundabergrum.com.au

“The brand will continue to build its rum-crafting credentials,” Mr Bruhn said.

Bundaberg man Ryan Turner-Walsh said he felt the brand did not have as much variety as in recent years.

“They should try to make up a new type of rum – something that’s bold,” he said.