Norwegian alcohol maker Arcus gets big earnings boost from lockdown

OSLO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Norwegian alcohol producer and wholesaler Arcus posted a sharp rise in its second-quarter profit on Tuesday, as COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented many consumers from buying cheaper wine and liquor abroad.

Arcus’s April-June revenue rose 10% year-on-year to 767 million Norwegian crowns ($86.9 million), while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 44% to 119 million crowns, the company said.

Seeking to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Norway, Finland and other countries where Arcus does business have discouraged foreign travel, thus limiting the access to alcohol from duty-free stores and other low-cost sources.

“While we currently still experience positive effects, it is impossible to forecast how long they will continue,” Arcus said in its earnings report.

Arcus in March temporarily postponed a decision on whether to pay dividends, but quickly reinstated the planned payout and has since seen its stock price rally 60%, hitting a 21-month high on Monday.

$1 = 8.8250 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Uttaresh.V