Traders News Source Senior Editor Mark Roberts Interviews Robert Nistico CEO of Splash Beverage Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBEV)
Robert Nistico Chairman & CEO of Splash Beverage Group
A 28-year beverage industry veteran, Robert was the fifth employee and VP/General Manager for Red Bull North America, where he led the start-up from zero sales to $1.45 billion. Robert is the founder and CEO of Marley Beverages and was responsible for framing out the long term vision for the company. Earlier in his career, Nistico held executive positions with Diageo and Gallo. A highly motivated, results-driven, creative, and passionate leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and the highest of standards, he has delivered outstanding results in small private start-ups as well as global public environments. His experience has included direct and indirect sales management, strategic brand marketing, production, co-packing, packaging, budgeting, forecasting, profit and loss management, financial modeling, operations and logistics. Robert serves on the Board of Apollo Brands in Dallas, Texas, and holds an Advisory Board position with Transition Capital Partners, LLC (a private equity firm), also in Dallas.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.
Q. Your recent announcement detailing the distribution agreement with Save-A-Lot sounds encouraging for the development of the TapouT product. When do you expect to see top line results from the agreement?
A. Naturally, we’re very excited about the TapouT authorization with Save A Lot, as we are with all these authorizations because the payback tends to be pretty quick. We’ve already shipped our first order, so we would expect to begin to see the impact to revenues in the third quarter.
Q. Do you expect the Save-A-Lot agreement to develop into a TapouT presence in all their stores and what might the timeline for that be?
A. We do expect that this will develop over time to all the stores. The Authorization is chain-wide but it will take a little time to get into each one. We expect to be in most of the stores within 90 days.
Q. You recently announced a move to acquire an 80% interest in Pulpoloco Sangria with a potential closing date in August. Can you tell us the financial details of the acquisition?
A. The full terms of the transaction have not yet been disclosed but suffice it to say that we’ve seen a growing amount of interest across the space, so we wanted to secure this transaction at favorable terms now before prices rise too much.
Q.What trends do you see in the markets you are involved with and are the trends different between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages?
A. I would say that we are particularly strong in our overall strategy, which is to have taken a portfolio approach to brand development. We’re not dependent on the success of any one brand so we don’t have a high-risk business strategy. At the same time we have a good command of our supply chain allows us to manage costs which allows us to execute well.
Q. What do you think is the biggest strength of SBEV right now? What does your company do well?
A. There are a lot of things we do well, but I’d say 4 strengths stand out. 1) We have a super management team with deep industry expertise and a total commitment to our strategy. 2) We have strong brands that are hitting all the right consumer check points. 3) We have a strong board of directors and; 4) our ability to access the capital markets has allowed us to develop a very strong balance sheet.
Q. SBEV has secured a lot of distribution deals over the past year. What makes that happen?
A. It’s all about relationships and hard work. Delivering for our distribution partners has created the mutual trust that allows us to keep building and growing these distribution relationships.
Q.SBEV revenues have grown substantially year over year. Can you give us any guidance toward company revenues for FYE 2022 and FYE 2023?
A. We don’t provide any forward guidance but we can say that we expect our revenues to continue to reflect the strong growth we’ve seen in our distributor relationships and brand authorizations we’ve been announcing.
Q. Do you see any one of your products outpacing the others as to revenue growth? Which aspect of your company makes you enthusiastic?
A. We see unique opportunities for each of our brands that reflect the trends in their respective markets. We don’t look at the business as to which brand will outperform the others, more than we’re looking to maximize the opportunity that each brand offers.
Q. Which aspect of your company makes you enthusiastic?
A. I think we have a four-legged approach that’s executing at the right time. We have a strong management team, a strong portfolio of brands, a go to market strategy that is proving successful as evidenced by the string of distribution and authorization announcements, and we have access to the capital we need to grow.
Q. What trends do you see in the markets you are involved with and are there trends different between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages?
A. There are naturally different trends between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, but we feel each of our brands are hitting a segment of the consumer markets that are uniquely timely. TapouT is tapping into a growing market for isotonic beverages that offer a healthier list of ingredients. Flavored tequila is showing explosive growth in the spirits category and single serve wine is proving to be one of those breakout products with consumers. And underscoring all these is the opportunity afforded by biodegradable paper cans, which has the potential to be a complete game changer. So, we feel we’re in all the right categories at all the right times.
Thank you for your time Robert!
The Traders News Team
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