Asia-Pacific has strong potential for brewers, Bernstein said

Asia-Pacific has strong potential for brewers, Bernstein said

Asia-Pacific is the last region not dominated by Heineken, SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Carlsberg, leaving the “Big Four” brewers substantial long-term growth prospects in the region, an analyst has said.

Trevor Stirling, of Bernstein Research, said today (22 March) that Asia-Pacific's relatively low per-capita consumption offers a major attraction for brewers. China and India will be the “key drivers” of the region's volume growth, though margins will remain tight, he said. 

“Emerging Asia - along with Africa - is the region with the highest long-term potential volume upside,” Stirling said. “However, unit pricing and margins are very low in China; and we believe that this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

In 2011, Asia-Pacific had 56% of the global population, 36% of global beer volumes, 26% of global beer revenues and 17% of global beer profit in 2011, the note added.

"Asia Pacific's relative importance to the global brewers is set to increase both organically and through acquisitions,” Stirling said. 

Heineken, SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Carlsberg make up 7% of Asia-Pacific's EBIT compared to an estimated global average of 61%. 

Last month, Bernstein said China's beer market is set to grow in volume, but weak margins may leave brewers in a futile chase for profits.

Expert analysis

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