Blog: Big is beautiful
Chris Brook-Carter | 31 August 2004
With a new name – InBev - and a new board, the world’s largest brewer was finally unveiled to the market over the weekend, and it appears to be hitting the ground running.
Late on Friday, shareholders in Belgian brewer Interbrew voted 100% in favour of a merger with Brazil’s AmBev. AmBev shareholders approved the deal later at a meeting in Brazil. By Monday a new board was announced, which includes CEO John Brock who has indicated that the company is not satisfied with being the number one brewer by volume.
Brock said Friday that a main focus of InBev will be to increase its profit margin to 30% from 25%.
Anheuser-Busch is still the world’s number one in terms of revenue and has a profit margin of 28%. “We’d like to beat them,” said Brock. “We think we can reach that 30% target over the next few years.”
But Brock has also hinted that the company’s expansion aspirations are far from over. Not only has he said that InBev has enough cash to buy a market-leading brewer, but he has also warned the industry that he wants the company to grow organically in the markets where it already has a presence.
It would be foolish to bet against InBev going after these goals in the aggressive manner that has become Interbrew’s hallmark. Although Interbrew has had its doubters in the past who have criticised the company for what they see as a ‘gung-ho’ acquisition policy, few can argue with the fact that, in the space of a decade, the Belgian family-owned brewer has gone from the world’s number 17, in terms of volume, to number one.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- Moet Hennessy sales falter in YTD