Outlook and guidance for 2019 as published in the Financial Statements Bulletin on 7 February 2019 remains unchanged (Half-Year Report Jan-Jun 2019, 15 August 2019).
The development of the Group’s business operations and profitability are affected by the competitive environment, the overall economic outlook, imports by consumers and changes in alcohol taxation. Uncertainty related to changes in consumer buying behaviour and consumer demand continues.
There are substantial seasonal fluctuations in the consumption of alcoholic beverages impacting the net sales and cash flow of Altia. The company typically generates large amounts of its revenue and cash flow during the fourth quarter of the year, whereas the first quarter of the year is significantly lower. In addition, excise taxes related to the high season at the end of the year are paid in January, resulting in large cash outflows at the beginning of the year.
Guidance as published on 7 February 2019 remains unchanged: The comparable EBITDA is expected to improve from the 2018 level.
The positive trend of Altia’s Nordic core brand portfolio is expected to continue. Market development in Finland is expected to flatten out in comparison to 2018 and the markets in Sweden and Norway are expected to grow. The negative impact of the increased barley cost will be reflected in high raw material costs especially in the first quarters of the year. The guidance assumes a normal harvest in 2019.
In addition, the impact from the implementation of the new IFRS 16 standard is expected to improve comparable EBITDA by 3-4 million.
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