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United Spirits to invest Rs 700 cr on capacity expansion

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(USL) today said it plans to invest up to Rs 700 crore in in the next fiscal.

The company, the country's largest spirits maker, will also be launching four new brands in the next few months in order to enhance its portfolio.

"There's a huge plan. In fact, we are spending close to Rs 600-700 crore in expanding capacities, either on improving our own capacities or having tie ups across India," USL Deputy President Ashok Capoor told PTI.

in capacity expansion through acquisitions of distilleries and upgrading its own existing distilleries will improve USL's self sufficiency for ENA (Extra Neutral Alcohol) by 40%, he added but did not specify how much additional capacity would be generated through the fresh investment.

ENA is used as a raw material to make Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).

The company, which expects to close the current fiscal at nearly 112-113 million cases, also plans to launch four brands across various segments in the next few months.

"We might launch close to four brands in the next fiscal. At least two new brands would be launched in the next 3-4 months and two more brands in another four months will be launched," Capoor said.

He added that the four new brands would include a premium whiskey, a premium vodka and a prestige rum.

Capoor said the company, which is at the threshold of becoming the world's largest spirits maker, expects to upstage the number one Diageo on the back of its robust yearly growth.

"They are (Diageo) growing at 2-3% while we are growing at 12% so hopefully it should happen but till we get actual confirmed figures we can't make an official announcement," he said.

A majority of growth is expected from the domestic market through sales of IMFL.

"IMFL segment is growing at 11-12% according to latest estimates. USL is also growing equal or more than the industry and we are hopeful with the kind of growth we are having, should soon become a global leader," Capoor said.

The company, which exports its products to various Asian and African countries, is looking to further expand its exports to the region.

"We are looking at strengthening our international operations and taking advantage of India diaspora spread across parts of Asia and Africa," Capoor said.

The company said its McDowell's No 1 Platinum whiskey has reached 1 million cases in first year of its launch.

"We are poised to do around 2 million cases in the coming year, it should be close to be 7-8% of the market share," Capoor said.

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