Tanduay developing rum products for US

Posted at 02/01/12 3:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lucio Tan's Tanduay Holdings says it's halfway through developing rum products it plans to sell in the U.S. by next year.

The products should be finalized by mid-year and Tanduay is searching the Miami and Las Vegas areas for partners who can distribute them.

Tanduay says it's the world's second biggest rum-maker after Puerto Rico's Bacardi. Going abroad may help it close the gap.

“It's about time for Tanduay to venture into the international market,” Managing Director Wilson Young said in an ABS-CBN News Channel interview. “We are in the stage of developing the right products to compete with international brands but the key is to find a local distributor as joint venture partner, specifically in the Miami area and the Las Vegas area.”

“We are halfway through developing it,” Young said. “We will come up with the product middle of this year and hopefully by 2013 we will be launching.”

The company on Wednesday reported its profit rose 75 percent to P1.1 billion last year in part as its Cabuyao, Laguna plant returned to operation after a fire in 2010.

Young said profit will grow as much as 12 percent this year as increased government spending boosts domestic consumption.

”2011 was a good year for Tanduay,” Young said. “Originally we projected an income of about P800 million. We were able to come out with an income of about P1.1 billion. We think 2012 will be better because I think the government will go for spending this year.''

Tanduay competes with San Miguel's Ginebra unit and property tycoon Andrew Tan's Emperador Distillers in the local market. -- Reporting by Maiki Oreta, ABS-CBN News Channel