E-Malt.com weekly newsletter
Week November 11 - November 17, 2002

Industry news

The Japanese brewing group, Kirin Brewery Co., has reported net profit of Y30.86 billion for the first nine months of 2002, up 29% on the corresponding profit figure last year of Y23.88 billion. Operating profit increased from Y61.93 billion to Y77.86 billion, while pre-tax profit rose from Y59.12 billion to Y73.34 billion. Turnover rose by 0.9% from Y1.162 trillion to Y1.172 trillion. The group attributed the rise in profitability to the beneficial impact of cost-cutting programmes. The performance over the nine-month period contrasts favourably with the company's performance in the first half of the year. Group sales for the January-June period decreased by 2.7% to Y727.89 billion, while group operating profit fell by 6.6% to Y33.80 billion.

Nuremberg. A long decline in beer consumption in Germany since 1995 was stopped by a 1% increase for the first nine months of 2002, compared to the same period last year. During the period Germans have drunk 83.2 million hl of beer, according to the German union of the medium-sized private brewers said at the European beer and beverage fair Brau Beviales, in Nuremberg. Beer-based mixed drink consumption increased by 33% year-on-year to 2.4m hectolitres in the period January to September 2002. German beer consumption has been decreasing by average 1.9 pct annually since 1995.

AmBev, the Brazilian drinks group, has reported a 59.7% increase in EBITDA for the third quarter of the current fiscal year to R$622.3 million. Consolidated net sales for the quarter rose by 11.7% to R$1.68 billion. AmBev reported that beer volumes in Brazil had risen by 2.5% while sales per hectolitre were up 12.2% to R$93.3. The company's share of the Brazilian beer market rose from 67.8% in June to 70.1% in September.

Cervecería Austral, the Chilean beer producer, intends to concentrate on its home market and diminish its activity in Argentina, as a result of that country’s recent economic crisis. The company will temporarily suspend its operations in southern Argentina, however it will still maintain its presence in Tierra del Fuego market. Cervecería Austral said it would recommence its operations in Argentina as soon as the country’s economic situation improves. Company’s General Manager John Kimber related: "We became uncompetitive.Products in Argentina are selling for around a third of their value." Austral, which is owned by Chilean brewing giant CCU and the Chadwick family, hopes to reach a 15% share of Chile’s premium market in 2003, equivalent to sales of 70,000 hectolitres.

The Finnish drinks group Hartwall, which is subject to a takeover by Scottish & Newcastle, said that Russian sales had contributed to rising earnings. The company saw January-September profit before extraordinary items rising 14% year-on-year to EUR 144m (US$143.4m). Sales jumped 24% to EUR 763m.

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