United Spirits Initiates Strategic Review Of Select Popular Brands
Bottles of Royal Challenge whiskey produced by United Spirits Ltd. sit on display at a roadside liquor store in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)  

United Spirits Initiates Strategic Review Of Select Popular Brands

United Spirits Ltd. is initiating a strategic review of selected ‘Popular’ brands as the liquor maker eyes long-term profitable growth through premiumising its portfolio.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of the 2021 calendar year, the company said in an exchange filing.

USL’s ‘Popular’ portfolio comprises around 30 brands and the strategic review will focus on about half of this by volume, the filing said, without offering any other details. This review, however, will not include the McDowell’s or Director’s Special trademarks.

“This review reinforces USL’s and Diageo’s commitment to deliver sustainable long-term growth and improved profitability, through a sharpened focus on core Popular and Prestige & Above brands, including international brands,” Anand Kripalu, managing director and chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in the filing.

Kripalu on a conference call with investors, said, “Several outcomes are possible, including but not limited to extension of the franchise model that we practised some years ago, accelerating select brands by additional investment, potential divestment and an organisation review of our operating model.”

The company, Kripalu said, will assess all options and the impact of each approach. The review is supported by Diego Plc., and India remains a highly attractive market, he told investors.

Shares of USL closed 0.58% higher on Tuesday compared with a flat Nifty 50.

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