Tamil Nadu govt dampens UB's spirits

 The liquor ordering pattern of the Tamil Nadu government through its monopoly retailer TASMAC continues to dampen sales of United Breweries (UBL) liquor brands, according to Chairman Vijay Mallya.

Addressing shareholders at UBL's 14th annual general meeting here on Thursday, Mallya said, “Market share of UBL is down drastically due to the irrational ordering pattern by the Tamil Nadu government (TASMAC) under political direction. We would persuade them (to change) it, we hope they will see reason.”

He said UBL's share in Tamil Nadu has gone down from 70 per cent earlier to about 30 per cent. He hoped that the government would give a fair share of orders to UBL given the high demand for its products.

Mallya also said that state governments should not treat hard liquor and beer on the same footing from a taxation perspective.

However, he said, “It's a frustrating journey to persuade state governments to have rational taxation regime.” He also  wanted them to facilitate more distribution outlets to sell liquor, as they garner lot of taxes from liquor sales. 

With specific reference to beer, he said, “It is available today in approximately 65,000 outlets in the country, roughly translating to one outlet for 18,000 to 20,000 residents. The global average is one outlet for every 250 to 300 residents,” he said.

He told one of the shareholders that UBL has not exposure to Kingfisher Airlines, nor has given any guarantee to the grounded airline.

On business outlook for financial year 2013-14, he said, “It is good, barring any unforeseen circumstances we should have met all our expectations in our budgets.”

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