just the Preview – Foster's Group H1
Foster's Group is to report its H1 results on 15 February
Foster's Group is set to report its second quarter and half-year results tomorrow (15 February). Here, just-drinks takes a look at the highs and lows for Foster's over its second fiscal quarter, the final three months of calendar 2010.
- At the beginning of the quarter, in early-October, Foster's restructured the European operations of its Treasury Wine Estates wine arm into three regional business units. The move created divisions handling the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe and the monopoly-run alcohol markets in the Nordic countries. Three senior executives subsequently left the unit.
- Later in the month, the company's brewing arm in Australia, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB). Warned that it expects the beer market in Australia to remain challenging over the short-term. The division has seen its share of the market slide in the last five years, and lined up three new beers to launch in October.
- The likelihood of Molson Coors making a move for CUB diminished in November, when the North American brewer confirmed it would relinquish its more-than 5% stake in Foster's Group. Molson Coors had built up the stake in 2008, prompting speculation that it was manoeuvring itself into the a position whereby it would make a bid for CUB.
- Also, in November, Anthony Reeves became Foster's chief financial officer, replacing Angus Mckay, who announced his resignation in September. Reeves' "prior experience with corporate demergers will be valuable", Foster's noted at the time.
- Foster's was dealt a financial blow in November, when the Australian Commissioner of Taxation submitted assessments for primary tax of AUD49.5m (US$48.5m), with interest of AUD17.1m. The company said that it also expects to receive additional assessments for penalties of between AUD12.4m and AUD24.7m. Foster's said at the time that it would “defend its position vigorously”.
- Finally, in December, Foster's confirmed that its CEO, Ian Johnston, would vacate his position once the group has demerged its two units. The company said it hopes to to retain John Pollaers and David Dearie, the respective leaders of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) and Treasury Wine Estates, in their roles once the demerger is complete, some time in the first half of this year.
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