October 29, 2007
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
Why did global sales of premium beer by volume rise by 150% between 2000 and 2006?
The story widely expected to dominate the business pages did just that last week. When Carlsberg and Heineken made their first move for Scottish & Newcastle, the UK-based brewer was quick to tell the Europeans exactly what they could do with their proposal. The reaction prompted Carlsberg and Heineken to adopt a more softly-softly approach, but the fear must be hanging over Copenhagen and Amsterdam that the damage has already been done. S&N, by its own admission, is quite upset at Carlsberg’s behaviour, so what’s not to say another dashing suitor might come along and sweep this spurned lover off its feet?
Third-quarter results season is now upon us, and it was the soft drinks companies that were quick off the draw last week. Naturally, the lack of a summer in Europe was cited by many of the companies as a reason for a difficult three months, but that didn’t stop firms like Coca-Cola Enterprises maintain a positive attitude for 2007. Not so Cott Corporation, however, who probably can’t wait for this year to finish.
In the spirits world, eyebrows were raised last week, when Diageo announced a tie-up with hip-hop icon Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. The arrival of Diddy as the face of Diageo’s Ciroc vodka brand will certainly up the brand’s profile. But a 50/50 profit split? I’m pretty sure he’ll be made to sing for his supper.
For the wine people, we went feature crazy, with Chris Losh looking at the growing importance of the ‘green’ pound for winemakers. This month’s just-the answer gave us the opportunity to quiz the MD of AXA Millesimes, Christian Seely, and ask him just what on earth a finance company thinks it is playing at, wondering into the world’s vineyards.
I’m off this week, recharging the batteries, before the serious partying begins in the run-up to Christmas. Or is that, preparing for the flood of results stories I’ll have to trawl through upon my return.
Don’t you lot go causing any trouble while I’m away, d’you hear?
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Persuading shareholders to back investment in the wine business can be a tricky challenge but AXA Millesimes has shown that if the business model is right, shareholders will embrace the idea. In this month’s Just the Answer interview, Christian Seely, AXA Millesimes’ managing director, spoke with Olly Wehring about the company’s strategy, which involves concentrating on high-end, estate wines and taking a long-term view towards its investment.
This month’s briefing provides a sector-by-sector overview of the beverage market in India. We look at the growing importance of the wine industry and how high taxation is a big hurdle to its promising growth. The major players in the spirits industry are profiled, including United Breweries and Seagram, and the Indian regulation of liquor production and imports is reviewed. The entry of new international players in the Beer market, such as Heineken, Cobra, Anheuser-Busch and Carlsberg, is discussed, along with the proposed de-linking of beer from spirits. We also look at the latest happenings in the soft drink sectors, namely carbonated soft drinks, fruit juice, packaged water, energy drinks, hot drinks and milk.
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