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Cantina di Soave: 70 million euros distributed to grower-members

Soave. The 2017-18 year financial report won unanimous approval during the course of the final general membership meeting, held at Rocca Sveva on Friday, 9 November. The membership also elected a new Chairman: Attilio Carlesso passed the reins to Roberto Soriolo, who has served ten years on the Cantina di Soave Board of Directors. A change in leadership in the context of continuity, given that both the retiring and entering Chairmans, the Management and Board of Directors were of one voice in expressing satisfaction at the results obtained over the financial year.

In particular:

Consolidated turnover of 141 million euros

  • The 2017 harvest, which produced 860,000 quintals of delivered grapes, brought a consolidated turnover of 141 million euros, a full 20% over last year’s figure. With respect to sales, bulk wine stands out, with a jump of +39%, thanks largely to DOP and IGP wine sales, which maintained their impressive performance.
  • Bottled wines grew in both volume (+11%) and value (+9%). Coherent with business strategies followed over recent years, sales of bottled wine constitute 50% of overall revenue, of which a full 52% is brand wines, the core business of the winery, compared to the 48% represented by private label wine.
  • Equally impressive was the ratio of domestic versus international sales, 63% and 37% respectively. With respect to the international front, despite the combination of a notably light harvest and significant production facility construction and consequent impact on bottling operations, the goal of holding Cantina di Soave positions steady in primary wine markets was achieved. For white wines, Soave and Pinot Grigio, the key markets remain the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria, while for the two highest-value reds, Ripasso and Amarone, the primary markets are still Scandinavia and Switzerland, followed by the United Kingdom, which has seen a +12% jump over the preceding year.

With respect to capitalisation, net assets exceed 62 million euros, over against an operative cash flow of more than 9.5 euros and profit for the year of 3.3 million euros. Liquidityremains positive as well, even taking into account current financial year investments of 32.4 million euros, which rose from 38.2 to 39,3 million euros.

The total value of conferred grapes increased to 98.5 million euros, while remuneration payouts to grower-members reached a record 70 million euros.

«The current situation of our winery – explained Cantina di Soave General Manager Bruno Trentini – appears stronger than ever over all its component areas. We met or exceeded all the objectives that we had set for ourselves. The outstanding performance of the bottled wines, and in particular of the winery brands, stands out as an important achievement. Over the course of the financial year, the winery succeeded in adhering to its marketing and sales plan, both in Italy and abroad, strengthening existing brands and introducing new ones, in order to protect current market positions and to conquer new placements.
Production activities over 2017-18 were in line with those of past years, focusing on development of our denominations to maximise income for our membership, and in fact a full 80% of our output derives from local native grapes. Managing a denomination – continued Trentini – includes achieving a balanced production of products presented to market in order to avoid excess and creating the correct product position in the markets. That is precisely what we are doing for Soave, of which we manage 48% of the Soave DOC vineyards and 43% of the Soave Classico DOC; for Valpolicella, of which we manage a full 49% of the overall Valpolicella DOC; and finally for Lessini Durello, with 70% of the Lessini Durello DOC under our management; and for Garda. The result is that these denominations are now the most profitable, on a national basis, for their respective growers. Compare that with the past and the results are eloquent.

The current financial year has witnessed major expansion of all the winery’s production facilities, which will be completed this coming spring. These activities were onerous in terms of maintaining both production and good financial management, which amounted to 32.4 million euros specific to the just-concluded financial year. This bears particular attention, given that even with that significant financial outlay, overall liquidity rose slightly, from a previous 38.2 million euros to the present 39.3, helped as well by bank financing. What all this testifies to is this winery’s impressive ability to generate liquidity.

In conclusion, I want to underscore a real record: this year, our 2,200 member-growers saw grape sales rise to 70 million euros and their own average income per hectare reach almost 13,000 euros. These are extraordinary results, and we are enormously proud of them. We are, after all, a winery cooperative, and the satisfaction and financial well-being of our grower-members is of fundamental importance for us».

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