Editor's Viewpoint - Beer - Is Heineken Trapped in a Russian Winter?
Exactly how tough going is Russia's beer market?
Is Heineken being a bit too tough on itself?
In what several analysts have described as a downbeat conference call yesterday – and, considering the Q3 trading update earlier in the day warned of a drop in FY profits, the glum tone was understandable – CFO Rene Hooft Graafland described the beer market in Russia thus:
“Very, very difficult.”
He then proceeded to say that he expects that the market will be down by 10% over the whole of 2013.
Now, the brewers operating in Russia have certainly had a tough time of late, as advertising restrictions, a clampdown on temporary retail outlets and rising taxes have made the road a bumpy one.
But, down by 10%?
Earlier this year, market leader Carlsberg issued guidance that Russia will come in down this year, but only by mid-single digits.
Is Heineken's Russian glass half-empty?
We'll know for sure when Carlsberg delivers its latest results on 13 November.
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