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Tanduay to double exports to the U.S. means BUSINESS

MANILA – The liquor company of tycoon Lucio Tan is boosting its sales to the United States as it prepares to sell its premium rum to the Philippine market.

Tanduay Distillers Inc chief financial officer Nestor Mendones last week said the company targets to double the sales of Tanduay Asian Rum to 3,000 cases in the US this year after selling 1,500 cases last year.

Tanduay is also covering more ground in the US with the addition of 3 to 4 more states that will allow the company to penetrate the lucrative cities of Los Angeles and New York.

"We also plan to sell it locally in select stores. We are just arranging the pricing and some issues because it was approved initially for exports. We will now have a product in the premium segment of the market," Mendones said.

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 worldwide sales, according to an AC Nielsen Retail Study in 2011.

Tanduay is banking on its Compañero brandy blend and Tanduay Rum Five Years to surpass last year’s net income after realizing a net loss of P11 million in the first quarter on higher cost of raw materials and expenses.

Tanduay’s net income last year fell 82 percent to P185 million, which included one-time expenses of P105 million arising from the closure of the old plant in Quiapo, Manila.

Tanduay has suffered from declining volumes because of intense competition and higher taxes ushered in by the Sin Tax Reform Law. So far, the company has seen a recovery in sales volumes with figures in April showing a 10 percent year-on-year growth.

Tanduay is part of LT Group, which has interests in banking, tobacco, real estate and beverage.