By Shakeh Avoyan
The French-owned Yerevan Brandy Factory (YBC) has more than doubled its sales in the first eight months of the year and revised upwards its target performance for 2001. The company said on Monday it has sold nearly two million liters of brandy since the beginning of January, far more than 850,000 liters sold during the same period last year.
Over ninety percent of the YBC’s production continues to be exported abroad, with Russia remaining its principal market. The company, bought in 1999 by the French spirits group Pernod Ricard for $33 million, went through a major downturn following the financial crisis that hit Russia in 1998. The improving economic situation there is seen as one of the main reasons for the growing sales.
Company executives also point to the increasing diversity of their export markets which now include countries like Canada, Israel and France. They now hope to increase YBC sales to three million liters this year, 50 percent more than they had originally planned.
The latest figures also show that Pernod’s Yerevan subsidiary has been able to successfully cope with competition from other Armenian brandy producers. Last year the YBC won a trademark dispute with one of them, the Great Valley company.