Noblewood Group Offers New Prospects for the Montenegrin Economy

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Until 2022, the Montenegrin economy was import-oriented and not focused on manufacturing luxury goods. Now, the country is entering the global market of premium products in the alcoholic beverages segment.

Noblewood Group acquired production facilities in Montenegro, renovated them, investing 40 million EUR, and hired over 200 professionals. By 2025, the company plans to employ around 400 people. It is a good perspective for the country with unemployment rate at 18.4% in April 2023. 

Noblewood produces and distributes super-premium vodka Beluga. According to Alexander Mechetin, founder of the Group, the company strives to produce 500–600 thousand bottles per month in its inaugural year of operation. It exports nearly all its production capacity volume, which accounts for approximately 4 million bottles per year so far. Within the next three years, the export volume is projected to reach 10 million bottles annually.

Achievements and Plans

In addition to the blending and bottling site in Montenegro, Noblewood Group also acquired a distillery in Latvia in 2022, which produces alcohol from grains grown in the Baltic States. The latter can deliver up to 10 million liters of beverages per year, and the former has enough capacity for 20 million bottles. 

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In April 2023, the production facility released the first bottles of Beluga vodka. The full range of Noblewood products includes Beluga Noble, Beluga Gold Line, Beluga Allure, Beluga Celebration and Beluga Transatlantic. 

According to Andreas Ioannides, Managing Director for Global Business Development, by the end of 2023, limited edition series of Beluga vodka will be added to the range. Besides, there will be the lower ABV Beluga Botanicals series. The company will also try its hand at making gin, rum and liquors, which belong to the core market categories.

Beluga vodka is already being shipped to the US, Spain, France, Germany and some parts of the Eastern European market. Customers in Montenegro and Serbia can purchase it too. Andreas Ioannides stated that the Group is about to expand its sales to APAC and LATAM regions in the short term.

By 2024, Noblewood will expand its production facilities to enable additional brand categories. According to Alexander Mechetin, a solid share of its capital expenditure (CAPEX) will be allocated for this purpose.

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Noblewood Group’s Mid-Term Goals

As Andreas Ioannides stated, “Noblewood Group and our flagship super-premium vodka brand Beluga will soon become global Ambassadors for the people of Montenegro, proudly promoting our brands’ provenance in more than 150 countries around the world”.

Montenegro is renowned for its purest water. It’s the essential ingredient of Beluga vodka. Consumers from different regions will get to know the drink’s origin looking at the back label of the bottle.

What May Change in the Montenegrin Economy 

Montenegro largely depended on imports. Its primary export articles were copper ore (about 120 million USD), raw aluminum and electricity (about 100+ million USD each). Its key foreign trade partners in exports were Serbia with 149.4 million EUR, Switzerland with 107.9 million EUR and Bosnia and Herzegovina with 90.6 million EUR. The volume of beverages exports was at most 10 million EUR. 2.8 million EUR of this amount accounted for beer and 6.3 million EUR for wine.

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Let’s try to estimate the potential impact of Noblewood Group on the national economy. In 2023, its announced production volume is 4 million bottles. In 2027, it is forecasted to reach 10 million. The price of a 70cl bottle is over 40 EUR. Based on the numbers and bearing in mind that super-premium vodka is a high-margin product, with all the deductions, it looks like Noblewood can give a considerable boost to the economy of Montenegro. 

As Dr. Dritan Abazović, the Prime Minister of Montenegro, emphasized, “If all the projections are realized, this will be the biggest company that has come to our country in the last 30 years”. The taxes that this industry player pays will replenish the respective budgets of Montenegro and Latvia.

If Noblewood keeps on developing as planned, Montenegro might consider modernizing and expanding its port infrastructure facilities and become more accessible for shipping. Freight companies will benefit from additional slots. The country’s connectivity and reach will ameliorate. This can boost the interest of large foreign investors in Montenegro.