just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
In a week when a handful of global brewers delivered their financials for 2006, one common goal appeared in their presentations. While Heineken, Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle all posted reasonably strong results for 2006, it was noteworthy to see that all three are still looking to reduce costs in their more stagnant Western European markets.
While good weather and the football World Cup helped the brewers perform comparatively well in the region last year, that hasn’t stopped them from focusing on extracting costs from their operations there in the year ahead. And so, while Heineken, Carlsberg and S&N look at driving efficiencies in Europe, they will look to their emerging markets to bring home the bacon.
Carlsberg and S&N may have trumpeted the impressive performance of their Baltic Beverages Holding joint venture in Russia and Eastern Europe – a 42.9% leap in profits from BBH last year – but, of the three, it is Heineken that looks best placed on a global scale. The Holland-based brewer is number three in Russia (behind BBH, granted) and makes the top five in China. It also has a healthy presence in Asia Pacific through its APB joint venture and has operations throughout Africa.
Most notably, however, Heineken saw its Heineken Premium Light brand explode in the US. The beer, which was only launched last year, has become a strong force in the imported beer category in the country. Indeed, Heineken’s CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, forecast last week that Premium Lite is set to become a 1m-hectolitre brand this year.
And that’s something that all the global brewers - Carlsberg and S&N included - would be very happy with.For more on Heineken’s performance, click here. For more on S&N’s figures, click here. For further details on Carlsberg in 2006, click here.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The vodka sector’s capacity for growth, particularly in the US, appears unbounded, and the big spirits players are all keen to gain full advantage. Major companies have recently swooped for the Svedka and 42 Below brands but, writes Patience Gould, the real fun will begin if and when the star Swedish brand Absolut comes up for sale.
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