Hansen Natural Corp will roll out Monster in Europe, South America and Asia this year

Hansen Natural Corp will roll out Monster in Europe, South America and Asia this year

Hansen Natural Corp has said that it will launch its Monster energy drink into more markets this year.

Speaking on an earnings call yesterday, Hansen's chairman and CEO, Rodney Sacks, told analysts that sales continued to progress satisfactorily in the UK and continental Europe during the quarter. As a result, Sacks said he believes that Monster is continuing to gain momentum in Europe, overall.

"Both cost of goods and selling expenses in Europe were lower than in the first quarter of 2010 on a per case basis," he told analysts. "We are launching Monster Energy in Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and the Baltic states - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - during the first half of 2011 and are planning launches in additional countries in Central and Eastern Europe, South America and Asia in the second half of 2011."

"The way we are expanding is we're looking for the right partner in the right country, and that is a big factor in determining where do we go first," Sacks said. "We have a wish list of countries and we have a list of which countries which we think our pricing is better and we'd like to go to."

However, the CEO added that a number of factors could results in a change of market entry at the last minute.

"We look at opportunities when they arise and that will change," Sacks said. "Literally, until about three months before a launch, we'll secure a distributor of our launch. Things are changing. So even our plans within Eastern Europe are going to change in which country we launch it in the second half.

"The rich countries, to one extent, how much resources we put behind different launches in different countries," he added. "It varies. And things like that will change. Some of these things are also dependent on the economies of the countries and our distribution partners, particularly in Eastern Europe."

The soft drinks maker recorded an increase in first-quarter profits yesterday (5 May), boosted by solid growth in the energy drinks category. For the three months to the end of March, profits rose by 69% to US$55m.

Hansen's share price closed at $61.94 per share yesterday, down 1.28% from Wednesday's close at $62.74.

Click here to view Hansen's full earnings call transcript.