Russia: Heineken N.V. is acquiring 100% of Russian brewery Patra
Netherlands’ brewing giant, Heineken N.V., announced on May 6 that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Patra brewery
in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The transaction will be funded from available cash resources and is subject to regulatory approval. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing in 2005 and is value enhancing in 2010. As agreed by both parties the acquisition price will not be published.
As a result of this transaction, Heineken's market share in Russia will grow to 8.3% from the current 7.5%, with volumes over 7 million hectolitres, further strengthening Heineken's number three position in the world's fifth largest and rapidly growing beer market.
Jean François van Boxmeer, member of the Executive Board of Heineken N.V. commented: "The acquisition of the Patra brewery fits perfectly in Heineken's strategy of selectively acquiring value creating assets in growth markets. In Russia, Heineken continues its purchases of regional breweries with the latest acquisition in the economically important Urals region. Furthermore, the Patra brewery will further strengthen our ever-expanding infrastructure."
The Patra brewery is based in the number three city in Russia,Yekaterinburg, situated in the fast growing Urals region, which accounts for 17% of the total beer market. Following this acquisition, Heineken will gain a strong number 1 position in Yekaterinburg, growing from a 11% market share to a combined market share of 31%.
France: French beer market is decreasing and Heineken France tries to stabilize its sales
French beer market has suffered an acceleration of its falling since the beginning of the year with 8% decrease of beer sales volumes
following the 6% decline registered already in 2004. The figures were disclosed by Didier Debrosse, the chairman of Heineken France, at a press conference on May 3.
In the last 4 years the volumes of beer consumed in France fell by 1.5 million hl to 19 million hl, he said. According to Didier Debrosse, the decline has a structural character: on the one hand beer sales suffer from the general shift of the market from alcoholic drinks to soft beverages, on the other hand strong reduction of the number of cafés-hotel-restaurants (CHR), where 30% of volumes of beer is sold.
In the last 10 years, the number of CHR in France decreased from 200,000 to 160,000, commented Didier Debrosse. The sector of the CHR accounted for 12% of the bankruptcies in 2004 and 10,000 of work places disappeared. For Heineken France, which accounts for 33% of the French market, the second place after Kronenbourg, the loss of volume was of 500,000 hl in 4 years.
In order to increase or at least to stabilize its sales in France, Heineken France launches new less alcoholic products, like aromatised beers with 3 % of alcohol (half less than one traditional beer), to allure women and seniors. Heineken France launches as well a plan of support the cafés with 15 million euros per annum: training scheme of the café owners, guarantees for loans and development of new concepts.
Brazil: AmBev reports Q1 2005 financial results: Brazil beer sales increased by 12.9%
Companhia de Bebidas das Américas (AmBev), the leading brewer in Latin America, announced on May 4 its results for the first quarter 2005
(1Q05). AmBev, owned by Belgian brewer InBev, recorded net income of R$144.2 million for 1Q05, representing a decrease of 52.7%. Earnings per share were R$2.65, down 67.4%. This decrease is mainly explained by the goodwill amortization of Labatt’s transaction, in addition to non-operating expenses related to the closure of Labatt’s brewery in Toronto. AmBev’s operating income, however, presented a strong increase, reflected in the 11.9% increase of EBITDA per share, which reached R$26.64.
Net revenues for the Beer Brazil operation reached R$1,915.4 million in 1Q05 (+24.9%). This increase was a consequence of both stronger sales volumes and higher revenues per hl. Beer sales volumes, as previously disclosed by the Company, increased by 12.9%. This result reflects the Brazilian market’s expansion (of 7.3%, according to ACNielsen) and AmBev’s higher market share (Mar/05: 67.6%; Mar/04: 65.0%).
Revenues per hectolitre in beer were R$128.5, 10.6% and 4.6% higher than 1Q04 and 4Q04, respectively. The main factors explaining the increase were the several price repositioning initiatives carried out throughout 2004, as well as a more generalized readjustment (of 5% on average) implemented last December.
It is important to point out that other revenue management levers also contributed to the average revenue growth in the quarter. As the Company fulfilled in 4Q04 its commitment of recover the 67% to 70% market share range, it was possible to once again focus on important profitability levers in 1Q05. The renewed focus on AmBev’s traditional revenue management activities enabled the evolution of direct distribution channel proportion in the sales mix (1Q05: 44.8%; 1Q04: 37.9%; 4Q04: 44.3%) and the resumption of the premium segment growth – we emphasize the higher volumes of Bohemia (+23.1%) and Original (+28.4%) brands.
Canada: Molson starts production of Blue Moon beer for the US market from its Montreal brewery
Molson Canada announced on May 5 the start of production of Blue Moon beer for the US market from its Montreal brewery as of May 2005
. This additional volume will bring a C$2 million investment in upgrades to its brewing facilities in Montreal. This is a part of the synergy initiative put in place following the Molson-Coors merger.
"The Molson-Coors merger will translate into very interesting opportunities for the Canadian breweries and their employees," said Daniel Pelland, Chief Brewing Officer for Molson Canada. "This transfer of Blue Moon volume to the Montreal brewery is the first phase of a larger plan to move more volume to our Canadian breweries."
Blue Moon production in Montreal is scheduled to start at the end of May 2005. Draught Blue Moon produced in Montreal will be in addition to the current Memphis brewery production volume. This additional volume is required as a result of the fast-paced growth of the brand in the US market and the additional volume required for this summer.
"This volume transfer to the Montreal brewery is great news for our members," said Guy Deslauriers, spokesperson for Molson's employee union. "We are pleased to experience first-hand the positive impact of the Molson-Coors merger."
Malaysia: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, owner of Tiger Beer, posted 10.64% increase of its net profit
The owner of Tiger Beer, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, posted its net profit for the second quarter to March 2005 was up 10.64 %
compared with a year earlier, although it was affected by higher packaging and raw material costs in the food and beverage business, AFX News communicated on May 5.
F&NL's Food & Beverage business activities and operations are executed via Asia Pacific Breweries Limited for beer; F&N Holdings Berhad and F&N Foods Singapore for soft drinks, dairies, ice cream and non-carbonated beverages (juices, Isotonic & Asian drinks). Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APBL) is a leading brewer with a portfolio of over 40 beer brands and brand variants in Asia Pacific.
In notes accompanying results, the company said its soft drink business registered strong festive sales and "last bite" deliveries to distributors in March in anticipation of the price increase effective April 2005. It said dairies product volume also improved 7 percent over the same period last year.
For the half year to March, it said that its revenue and operating profit were 10.6 percent and 9.2 percent higher, respectively, than a year earlier.
Latin America: Latin beer success is attributed to NAFTA
According to economists the success of Latin beer is attributed to the relaxation of tariffs under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement
Grupo Modelo's Corona ranks seventh in U.S. beer shipments, long outranking Heineken as the top imported beer in America, Associated Press commented on May 5. Modelo has increased its exports to the United States by 30 % a year.
Fomento Economico Mexicano SA, Mexico's other main beer company, is gaining market share with brands that include Dos Equis, Tecate and Bohemia.
In the past decade, annual U.S. malt beverage imports from Mexico rose from $36 million to $162 million. Beer and tequila now make up 22 percent of Mexico's $1.5 billion in food exports to the United States and the breweries employ 88,000 people in 11 Mexican states.
Analysts attribute the success to strategic pre-NAFTA alliances with U.S. beer giants and marketing genius that seems to promise a Mexican beach in each lime-enhanced sip. "Like everything, it started out with lack of availability, that right there gives it cachet," said Juli Niemann of RT Jones Capital Management in St. Louis. "When you get better availability, then it becomes largely a marketing thing."
EU: EU malt exporters booked 1.85 million tonnes of export licences until April 27, 2005
EU malt exporters booked 1.85 million tonnes of export licences from July 1, 2004 until April 27, 2005
. The following analysis shows that the EU will lose exports in excess of 300,000 tonnes during the current crop year.
New members could only fix licences after accession, 46,000 tonnes in May/June 2004. Their exports to countries outside today’s EU-25 were 269,000 tonnes in 2003 and will be unchanged in the crop year 2004/05. They may have profited from the Russian import embargo on malt (phyto-certificates) from other EU countries.
Czech Republic: Czech malt production and exports in 2004
The Czech Republic produced 511,000 tonnes of malt and exported 273,000 tonnes in 2004
, both numbers are records. 107,000 tonnes were shipped to Poland, 79,000 tonnes to Russia. Slovakia exported 167,000 tons, down from 209,000 tons a year before. Largest customers were Poland, Ukraine and Romania.
Australia: Graincorp cuts its profit forecast as dry conditions hit grain harvest
GrainCorp Ltd, Australia’s largest grain-handling and storage company, said it downgraded its full year profit forecast for 2004-2005
FY to the end of September to A$10-12 million from A$14-16 million previously expected due to disappointing grain receivals for the 2004-05 harvest as drought conditions hurt production by grain producers. GrainCorp fell A$1.10 or 8.7 per cent to A$11.50.
“The dry summer and autumn has meant summer crop grain receivals have fallen short of expectations and exports have been subdued as grain is retained by the local market for potential domestic consumption,” GrainCorp said in a statement.
Grain receivals for the 2004-05 harvest have come in at 9.5 million metric tonnes, 500,000 tonnes short of expectations. 'While the summer crop harvest is still underway, the continued dry conditions have clearly impacted on receivals,' Graincorp managing director Tom Keene said.
GrainCorp, which is expected to report its half-year results on May 26, booked a A$25.7 million net profit for 2003-04.
Other agricultural stocks also suffered. Barley producer ABB Grain fell 33c to A$5.35 and beef producer Australian Agricultural Co 9c to A$1.36. Agricultural services provider Futuris fell 10c at A$1.75 and wheat exporter AWB 4c to A$4.16.
EU: An unsold surplus of 5 million tonnes of free market and intervention barley
The EU sits on an unsold surplus of 5 million tonnes of free market and intervention barley
, not counting the regular annual carryover of 5.5 million tonnes, according to experts. The annual demand for feed, seed and human consumption (mainly malt) is 53 to 54 million tonnes, any quantity harvested in 2005 above that number must be exported or will be added to the existing stocks.