Tanduay exports 2,000 cases to Miami in maiden US shipment means BUSINESS

MANILA - Tanduay Distillers Inc made the first shipment of its "Asian rum" to the US market last week, as the company aims to grow its exports to a quarter of the business in the next five years.

Wilson Young, Tanduay managing director, told that the company shipped 2,000 cases to Miami last week.

The Lucio Tan-owned company plans to ship 6,000 cases to the US this year, increasing this to 10,000 cases by 2014.

"Our next target is New York. If it looks convincing, we will accelerate. If it clicks, we will have to adjust [our projections]," Young said, adding that exports could corner 25 percent of overall sales in five years if the venture proves successful.

The company’s push to the overseas market is part of its effort to transform Tanduay into a global brand. Established in the Philippines in 1854, Tanduay Rum ranks second behind Bacardi in sales.

Tanduay tapped four American firms engaged in marketing and consultancy, distribution and administrative services to assist its foray to the US market.

The liquor maker expects sales volume to remain flat this year amid tight competition, with its first quarter performance dipping 0.8 percent.

Revenues however rose by 8.4 percent to P3 billion from P2.8 billion last year largely driven by higher average selling prices as a result of the increase in excise taxes implemented at the start of the year.

The company is behind Tanduay Five Years, Tanduay Light, ESQ, among others.

Tanduay is part of LT Group Inc, which has interests in tobacco, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, banking and property development.