The Fruko-Schulz liquor company from Jindřichhohradec will probably have a new owner starting next year. As reported by ČTK, the Russian shareholders of the Ladoga group will sell their shares by the end of the year, and the liqueur will now be owned by a Czech company.
The spirits of the Jindřichohrad company Fruko-Schulz are the holders of a number of medals from bartending competitions here and abroad. Liqueurs and vodkas won the most diverse awards. Tuzemák is still one of the least popular spirits. Photo: Fruko-Schulz archive
| Photo: Diary/VLP Externista
ČTK was informed about the change by the director of the liqueur company, Josef Nejedlý. Due to the war in Ukraine, the company lost some customers, and the bank also ended its long-standing cooperation with it. Until now, the Russian Ladoga group owned 90 percent of the company.
“The participation of Russian shareholders is no longer desirable, because customers and banks are turning their backs on us. That’s why they (Russian owners) are selling their shares,” Nejedlý told CTK. Ladoga now holds 90 percent of the shares through the company Furato, Nejedlý has a ten percent share. The new owner of the liqueur will be a Czech company, Nejedlý did not say which one. Russia has so far been the company’s largest foreign customer, the market there accounted for almost 65 percent of the company’s exports last year
Nejedlý described last year as a turning point, mainly because of the war in Ukraine, which caused problems for the company. Anti-Russian sanctions also hit her. “Some partners have made it clear that they no longer want to do business with our company. They have terminated their contracts and stopped taking goods from us,” said the director. The e-shops Mall.cz and Alza.cz ended their cooperation, but also large customers such as the Ahold chain or the Lagardere company. The financing bank, Moneta Money Bank, with which she had been a liquor store for 25 years, also ended the cooperation. He is a new client of Fio banka. The Globus chain ended the cooperation at the beginning of the year last year, but later renewed it. The Coop chain of stores remained an important domestic customer.
The ban on importing goods from Russia caused further problems. The end of the import of Tsar’s vodka brought a “noticeable” decrease in turnover and profit. The liqueur had a representative of the Ladoga company for the sale of its spirits in the EU. It partially made up for the outage by selling Ukrainian vodka Hlibna dar, the liquor company donates the proceeds to charity. The company does a lot of business with Ukraine. It represents the Ukrainian company Bayadera on the domestic market. The company also had to find new suppliers. It imported bottles, labels, cartons and raw materials from Russia. It also expanded its production to include Barrister gin.
The liqueur also resolved a dispute with the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which produces the drug ibalgin. Fruko-Schulz produced a gin with the same name. Sanofi sued it for trademark infringement. The dispute ended with an out-of-court settlement, in March 2024 the liqueur company will stop selling and producing the mentioned gin and Sanofi will not want financial compensation, according to the annual report.
Last year, the liquor store ended up with a loss of CZK 1.2 million after taxation. A year earlier, it had a net profit of 1.3 million. Revenues from the sale of products, services and goods rose by 13 percent year-on-year to 264.8 million. A profit awaits this year.
Last year, the liquor company produced 3.18 million liters of spirits, nine percent less year-on-year. Of this, almost 27 percent went to export. The company exported 1.37 million bottles last year, an increase of 22,500 year-on-year. Exports accounted for almost 39 percent of sales last year, an increase of almost five percent compared to the previous year. The company exported the most to Russia, accounting for 64.6 percent of exports by volume. The second main market is Slovakia, followed by China, Bulgaria and Taiwan. Last year, the liqueur company exported alcohol to 31 countries, recently to the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius.
Tuzemak is the most sold of all the liqueur’s products. The company is the second largest producer of domestic rum in the Czech Republic after Božkov. Last year, it sold over two million liters.