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Here's a look at the biggest stories and the best content from just-drinks this week.

Champagne will look to overcome short-term challenges in some of its mature markets as the category continues to pursue a value-driven strategy in a growing number of emerging non-European markets around the world.

Returning to just-drinks for his monthly look at our industry from an investor's perspective, our in-house analyst, Ian Shackleton, flags the growing presence of ethical investment decisions. He also looks at what to expect from the latest round of quarterly results and the likelihood of alarm bells ringing at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The recent rule changes in Scotch maturation introduced by the Scotch Whisky Association go some way to appealing to the creativity of today's forward-thinking distillers. However, is the general public ready for Scotch 2.0 or, for that matter, does the consumer even want it? Neil Ridley delves into the casks to see what's slumbering away.

Irn-Bru owner AG Barr has warned that its profits will be down by 20% over the fiscal year as the fallout from the UK sugar tax hits the bottom line. In a trading update, the company said first-half results - due to be announced in September - are estimated to deliver a 10% profits drop on the year-prior.

A profits warning from AG Barr this morning brought a strong reaction from London's financial market. The Irn-Bru owner's forecast that full-year profits will be down 20% on the year-prior sent shares spiralling by almost 30%. Consequently, the gains AG Barr had made since the UK Government implemented its sugar tax last April were almost completely wiped out.

The week ended with big news from Australia:

In the same month that the brewer's proposed flotation in Asia-Pacific collapsed, Anheuser-Busch Inbev has agreed the sale of its Carlton & United Breweries unit in Australia to Asahi Group Holdings.

The velveted brickbats were flying earlier in the week after Anheuser-Busch InBev pulled the plug on its Asia-Pacific IPO. "A rare misstep," said Bernstein. "The signal is pretty bad," added AlphaValue. Those groans turned into a collective "A-ha!" today, as A-B InBev announced it will sell its Australian Carlton & United Breweries unit to Asahi. 

Earlier today, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its intention to offload all of the group's operations in Australia to Asahi. Here, with the help of figures from GlobalData, just-drinks looks at the Australian beer market and its growth prospects relative to Asia.

Meanwhile, on our news pages:

Diageo has appointed a former senior employee at The Coca-Cola Co as its new chief commercial officer. just-drinks has learned that Julie Hamilton is to join Diageo at the start of next month. Hamilton replaces Tom Day, who held the role of chief sales officer for two years.

The CEO of SodaStream, the at-home soft drinks maker PepsiCo bought last year, is to step down 12 months on from the acquisition. Daniel Birnbaum, who helped negotiate the US$3.2bn deal with PepsiCo, said today he will leave his post on 1 August to become chairman of SodaStream, the company said in a statement.

Edrington has named a former executive from beauty company Coty to lead its Asia-Pacific operations. Francois Saurel, who was GM for Coty's luxury portfolio, will join Edrington this month, the privately-owned company said.

Pernod Ricard has completed the formation of its Myanmar spirits joint-venture. The partnership, first announced last year, sees Pernod begin operations in Myanmar with existing joint-venture Access Myanmar Distribution Co.

Remy Cointreau's sales slipped in its fiscal first quarter as price increases put in place earlier this year hit the group's top-line performance. The company, which last week announced the exit of CEO Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, said revenues in the three months to June were down 3% in organic terms. 

Molson Coors has acquired a majority stake in Czech brewer Pardubicky as the US-based company expands its Central European portfolio. The purchase, through Molson's Staropramen subsidiary, took place in June and gives the brewer an 89% share in Pardubicky. 

UK soft drinks group Nichols has reported a strong set of results for the first half of this year, with sales in the six months rising by low double-digits. The company, which owns the Vimto soft drinks brand, said that group sales in the six months to the end of June came in at almost GBP72m


Expert Analysis

Champagne markets, companies and production

Champagne markets, companies and production

There are short-term challenges, but in mid-2019 Champagne is continuing to develop in terms of value creation and internationalisation, opening up and expanding emerging markets, and increasing sales...

VIEW REPORT

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