Blog: Olly WehringIndia carries on regardless

Olly Wehring | 30 July 2009

Looking at the United Spirits first quarter sales figures  today (30 July), you could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss over the economic downturn is about.

Volume sales are up 17%, pretty much as they were for most of last year, while net sales revenue is up 22%.

United Spirits president Vijay Rekhi told just-drinks in April that the Indian spirits market has seen little of the fallout from the global economic meltdown.

Beer, too, appears to be in healthy shape. United Spirits sister group, United Breweries, this week posted a 17% rise in first quarter beer sales, although there is speculation that main rival SABMiller has seen growth slow in recent months.

Only in India's fledgling wine market do there appear to be serious problems. Wineries are facing a veritable oversupply crisis and sales have plummeted in the last year - largely, it is thought, due to a lack of tourists since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

On a macroeconomic level, the Reserve Bank of India this week upgraded its forecast on the national economy, predicting that gross domestic product could rise by 6.5% this year, compared to previous guidance of between 5.5 and 6%.   

Many developed nations, albeit sitting on bigger piles of wealth already, would kill for a rate at even half that.

India is one emerging market that does not appear to have lost its shine.




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