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CHINA: SABMiller best placed for China beer surge - analyst

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China will account for around 40% of global beer volume growth in the next four years, with SABMiller best placed to take advantage, according to analysts.

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Rising per capita consumption will be the key growth driver in China's beer market, increasing to 45 litres by 2016 and 53 litres by 2021, analysts Nomura said in a note today (July 24). The current per capita rate for beer in China stands at 36 litres.

"Despite some slowdown in the consumer dynamic in China in the past few months, we estimate the China beer market will account for c. 40% of global beer volume growth to 2016," it said. 

The China profit pool is expected to grow from US$1bn to nearly US$9bn by 2021, Nomura said, with key growth drivers being market consolidation, premiumisation and "efficiency" moves.

Meanwhile, SABMiller is expected to "consolidate its market leadership position" through its Chinese joint-venture, CR Snow Breweries, Nomura said. 

It added: "Although we expect Heineken to carve out a niche position in China’s premium imported beer segment, we do not see it as a key beneficiary of profit pool growth given its lower exposure to the market."

Heineken is set to fight it out with ThaiBev and Kirin over its joint-venture with Fraser & Neave, Asia Pacific Breweries. Nomura said this potential competition shows the "limited availability and attractiveness of Asian beer assets".


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