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Frucor fast-tracks Aussie distribution network

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 30th November 2000

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Frucor (NZSE: FRU) says it will accelerate the development of its own distribution network in Australian following the sale of a distribution partner there.

Australian food and beverage company, Bonlac, yesterday announced it had sold its Spring Valley juice brands to Cadbury Schweppes. Spring Valley distributes Frucor's energy drink, V, to a number of outlets in Australia including petrol stations and convenience stores.

Frucor boss Mark Cowsill says during the transition period his company will focus on ensuring continuity of supply to customers, and he is confident sales will not be affected.

"Our plan has always been to develop a broad based sales and distribution capability as V develops. For example, Frucor has recently established its own sales and distribution operation to handle the grocery business in Australia."

"This most recent development has created the opportunity to accelerate the development of such a distribution network that will support the continued strategic growth for V and additional Frucor products in the Australian
market."

Mr Cowsill says existing distribution to grocery outlets and through distributors in regional areas will continue under existing agreements.

He says V is now a well-established and substantial brand in Australia, and the market opportunities for the product are huge, with the past two weeks booking record sales of the Kiwi energy drink.

Earlier this week Frucor announced a management restructuring to help the company's overseas marketing push, especially in the UK where the company has admitted its distribution of V has not been as successful as planned.

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