August 28, 2014 / 6:50 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Polish excise duty weighs on Stock Spirits' first-half revenue

* H1 adj. operating profit down 23 pct to 23.2 mln euros

* H1 revenue down 10 pct to 137.7 mln euros

* Declares maiden interim dividend of 0.0125 euros/shr (Adds details)

Aug 28 (Reuters) - Stock Spirits Group Plc, the biggest vodka producer in Poland and the Czech Republic, reported a 10 percent fall in first-half revenue, mainly as an increase in Polish excise duties hurt consumption.

Buckinghamshire-based Stock Spirits said operating profit before exceptional costs fell 23 percent to 23.2 million euros ($30.64 million) for the six months ended June 30.

Revenue fell to 137.7 million euros in the first half from 153.1 million euros a year earlier.

More than 60 percent of Stock Spirits’ sales comes from Poland, where the government raised excise duties on strong alcohol by 15 percent in January.

The company’s drinks range from high-end Polish vodka Czysta de Luxe to fruit-flavoured liquors and Italian brandies.

Stock Spirits was established in 2008 when U.S. private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management merged Czech Republic-based Eckes & Stock with Poland’s largest spirit company Polmos Lublin, creating one of the biggest vodka makers in eastern Europe.

Oaktree was Stock Spirits’ biggest shareholder until it sold its 36.8 percent stake in April.

Stock Spirits, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in October, declared a maiden interim dividend of 0.0125 euros per share.

Shares in the company closed at 294 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.

$1 = 0.7572 Euros Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by Feroze Jamal

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