Blog: What ales S&N?
Chris Brook-Carter | 10 August 2005
So it is refreshing to see a brewer making a good deal of noise about its existing and, supposedly, stagnant markets. At a press briefing earlier today in London, Scottish & Newcastle were not only prepared to point out the struggles it faces in Western Europe, but also keen to suggest solutions to the problems it encounters.
“I think (Western Europe) continues to be a very exciting prospect,” S&N CEO Tony Froggatt said, speaking exclusively to just-drinks. “Despite all the obstacles, a little lateral thinking and innovation can make all the difference.”
Certainly, the company can boast a recent track record in the UK to back up its claims. Froggatt said the company was gaining share within a soft UK market. Its four key brands, Foster’s, Kronenbourg 1664, John Smith’s and Strongbow, continued to grow strongly, with total volumes in the first six months of this year up 5.5% against a market decline of 3.9%.
The brewer’s stock fell as the results were published, however, on worries about its performance in the rest of Western Europe, particularly France. But, with the UK - a business many analysts had almost written off two years ago - it has successfully demonstrated it can turn around an underperforming mature market. It makes sense, then, to trust the current management and to believe Froggatt when he declares that Western Europe will return to operating profit growth in the second half of 2005.
By the way, for a full and frank exclusive interview with S&N’s Tony Froggatt, check out just-drinks from next Tuesday (16 August).
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