Friday, January 25, 2008

Méli Mélo

Constellation Brands, the world’s N°1 wine company had revenues of 1 billion Dollars with close to 120 million Dollars in profit.
The combined revenues from our large wholesalers such as Castel Frères and Grand Chais de France, are probably not far from that.

I received the No 54 issue of Jean-Marc Quarin’s barrel tasting notes of Bordeaux 2005. It is good, I can’t wait to see the report of the bottled wines which Jean-Marc is currently working on.
In any case, the No 54 issue confirms the success of my friends in the Right Bank (including Ausone noted 20 and Cheval Blanc 19.5) as well as the Left Bank:
Trolong Mondot with 20/20
Beauséjour Duffau with 19/20
Angélus 18/20
Ducru Beaucaillou 18.5/20 once more at the top
Noted 18 : La Conseillante, Léoville Poyferré, Pape Clément, Pontet Canet, Valandraud, etc…

This is really a top vintage, and considering the prices, one question remains : will the château provide samples to taste, even to journalists ?

Last Friday, I had an appointment with my main bank, the Credit Lyonnais. Where attending, the person in charge of the local branch in Saint Emilion and his boss to discuss the current loans of my company. The sums borrowed are necessary to run the company and make the proper investments needed to expend and in construction in an industry where revenues can experience wide swings. Particularly in my business where one year revenues can increase by 50% and the next drop by the same amount.

It is therefore crucial to deal with banks who understand this business model and our balance sheets.

The Credit Lyonnais represents 70% of our financing, BNP 25% and Société Générale 5%. The size of our debt seems considerable compared to our revenues, but our the production and wholesale sectors of our industry require a great amount of capital. The reimbursement for our mortgages are done in 20 or 30 years and the cash flow needed to finance our customers payment terms represent around 3% of our revenues. Only for the 2008/2009 period, we will probably need 1 million for production and promotion and 1.5 for cash flow. For your information, our 10 million Euros in revenues for 2007 will increase to 15 this year (due to the delivery of 2005).

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