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Cuba Ron Signs Cubay Distribution Agreement

Paris, October 11 (RHC)-- Cuban state-owned company Cuba Ron S.A. will begin marketing worldwide its premium, aged Rum Cubay Carta Blanca through Beaune-based Groupe Belvédère, after signing an exclusive distribution agreement with the French corporation, trade publication Just Drinks reported.

According to the report, the rum will be produced in Cuba but bottled in France, from where Belvédère will ship it to some 140 countries, excluding the United States due to U.S. economic sanctions on Havana.

“Transportation costs are very important in our sector,” said Yannick Duverge, a spokesman for Belvédère. “So it is better to import the rum and bottle it in France.”

At a price of $95 per 1-liter bottle, the company expects to sell 20,000 bottles a year in the beginning, for estimated revenues of $1.9 million.

“As we just start the premium-ization of our brands, Belvédère will focus on duty-free and premium independent beverage cellars,” Duverge said, adding that marketing efforts will focus on Europe and beyond.

Belvédère signed an exclusive, five-year distribution agreement with Cuba Ron. Belvédère had been missing a rum brand in its line-up, CEO Krzysztof Trylinski told Just Drinks. His company nearly doubled revenues over the past four financial years, with $1.23 billion in 2011.

Belvédère sells Sobieski and Danzka vodka, William Peel whiskey, as well as French mainstay Marie Brizard. Nearly 87 percent of the company’s sales are in France and Poland, with Lithuania, Bulgaria and the United States taking up the remainder. U.S. actor Bruce Willis owns 2.6 percent of the publicly traded company’s shares.

Separately, Cuba Ron is marketing its Ron Cubay Añejo, Carta Dorada, Añejo Suave and Reserva Especial brands. Duverge said Belvédère will focus just on the Carta Blanca brand, for now.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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