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JSC Latvijas balzams statement on activities during the Covid-19 pandemic

JSC Latvijas balzams, the leading producer of alcoholic beverages in the Baltics, has continued the operation of production facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing products to both the domestic market in Latvia and the Baltic region as a whole, as well as to export markets worldwide. In addition, Latvijas balzams has started to reclaim a new product segment during this time, starting to produce hand and surface disinfectant Virudes, thus reducing the negative impact of the pandemic on the company’s overall operations.

In order to minimize the impact of the pandemic, the management of JSC Latvijas balzams has promptly taken several measures with the aim of implementing cost reduction, as well as adapted the supply chain to the new situation. It is currently difficult to assess the magnitude of the impact of the pandemic, which will depend on the timing of the restrictions reduced in different countries, but it is already clear that the impact on the 2020 results will be significant.

“With the decline in orders from our largest markets – the USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK, which have been hit hard by the Covid-19 virus epidemic, a significant part of export orders has been cancelled or moved,” informs Intars Geidāns, Chairman of the Management Board at JSC Latvijas balzams. “The operating principle of our production facilities is the production of products for specific orders, while the number of employees is adjusted to ensure the production of the forecasted order volumes. In view of the fall in export orders, some of the production and production support workers were on furlough. We ensure them appropriate remuneration, using the opportunities provided by the state. If the situation does not significantly improve, similar furlough may happen in the following periods as well,” comments Intars Geidāns.

The company informs that the number of employees of JSC Latvijas balzams has not changed significantly and the fluctuations in the number of employees are within 5%. Factory workers continue performing their work,  meeting all extra safety requirements, while about 80% of office employees work remotely.

“Our goals for this year have not changed, but we understand that it will not be easy to achieve them. Changes in plans have been made, most of the new projects which do not have an immediate effect will wait for their turn a little bit later,” says Intars Geidāns. “Our priority is to ensure the production and manufacture the products that are currently needed in the market. We have all the necessary raw materials, employees and resources for that,” concludes Intars Geidāns.

Joint stock company Latvijas balzams is a leading producer of alcohol beverages in the Baltics with a history steeped in tradition since 1900. The company has two production facilities in Riga – a distillery of strong alcohol beverages and sparkling wines and a light alcoholic beverages production plant. Latvijas balzams is one of Latvia’s leading exporters – its products are available in 180 countries around the world, as well as the company is one of the largest taxpayers in Latvia. Since 2015, the company has been part of the Amber Beverage Group.

JSC Latvijas balzams
Chairman of the Management Board
Intars Geidāns