March 9, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
A quick demo of O4’s mobile field solution in action.
Beer and pub industry leaders in the UK are turning up the volume on the plight of their sector, warning of mass job losses if the Government goes ahead with its plan for further duty tax rises in next month's Budget.
Last week, the head of Coors Brewers, the UK division of Molson Coors, weighed into the debate in somewhat controversial style by telling analysts that it is "no bad thing" that up to a quarter of UK pubs may be forced to close their doors permanently within the next decade.
Speaking at a Molson analysts' conference in New York, Coors Brewers CEO Mark Hunter said that many of the pubs closing have failed to move with the times.
Up to 40 pubs are closing down every week in the UK, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which says that beer sales in the country are at their lowest for more than 70 years. BBPA leadership met senior Government ministers last week to talk of its concerns and publicise its "save the pub" campaign.
Caught out of step, perhaps, Coors subsequently issued a press release declaring that it has established a new website to support its on-trade customers in the country. While the timing of this announcement looks like a swift piece of Coors bridge building, Hunter's comments are sure to spark yet more debate in the sector.
Other stories hitting the headlines last week include the swift, and somewhat mysterious, departure of Diageo India's managing director, slowing profits for Anheuser-Busch Inbev in 2008 and a depressing set of figures from Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated in what the company described as a “difficult year”.
Have a look here, meanwhile, for some colourful reactions to last week's proposal for a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland.
Lively times, indeed.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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Belgium-based beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev saw its fourth-quarter profit plummet 95% yesterday (5 March), hurt by restructuring charges and poor beer sales. Michelle Russell looks at the reaction the group's performance.
The beginning of a new year once again sees the publication of the Euromonitor International industry outlook from just-drinks, which takes stock of the current state of play in the spirits, beer, wine and soft drinks sectors and looks ahead to what promises to be an exciting and busy year across all four categories. The expected activity in our industry, however, will play out against a background of economic gloom, which looks set to contaminate all areas of all businesses.
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