Europe’s Largest Brewer Standardizing on Triple Point to Support Global Commodity Procurement
Danish brewer Carlsberg signs a joint venture in Burma to brew and market its beers in the country.
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The amount of time that people in any one country have to work in order to pay for a beer is one economic indicator that is followed closely by the world’s second largest brewer, SAB Miller.
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London-listed brewer SABmiller says pre-tax profits were up 12% for the six months to September
In hard times, consumers like to drown their sorrows with higher quality beer, according to the world’s second-biggest brewer, SABmiller. The London-listed brewer has benefited from this trend to report pre-tax profits up 12 % for the six months to September. In the UK, volumes were 5% higher, driven mainly by its premium-market beer Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Overall, the UK beer market declined during the half.
“Despite tough economic times, people still want to treat themselves, and it’s far easier to buy a nice drink than, say, a new car,” said a spokesperson for the group.
The shares in SABMiller jumped more than 6%, valuing the group at about £44bn.
But despite the summer’s European football championships in Poland and Ukraine, pre-tax profits in Europe were down. In Poland SABMiller cut prices.
In December last year the firm bought the Australian group Foster’s for £7.5bn. This acquisition and higher profits in India and China – where SAB owns a 50% stake in China’s most popular beer, Snow – boosted pre-tax profits by 265% in the Asia-Pacific region.
Overall, the maker of Grolsch, Miller and Pilsner Urquell reported that profit rose to £1bn, compared with £880m a year earlier, also helped by SABMiller’s dominance in its biggest market, Latin America, where it controls almost the whole market in Colombia and Peru. Company sales worldwide were up 11% to $17.5bn (£11bn).
SABMiller’s outlook remains cautious. The company, whose roots are in South Africa, said the gains from acquisitions and mergers seen in the first half could be reduced next year. But the company said the potential of the principal emerging markets in which it operates remained strong. The beer industry has recently undergone a major consolidation. Besides SABMiller’s acquisition of Foster’s, Heineken won full control of the maker of Tiger beer in a £4bn deal in September.
President Hollande to push through legislation to fund social programmes – but brewers condemn plan as ‘kick in teeth’
The French president, François Hollande, is pushing through legislation to increase taxes on beer by 160% to help fund social programmes, as France struggles to contain a budget deficit hit hard by the economic crisis.
The tax increase will affect local brews and the 30% of imported beer the French drink. The change will push up the price of a beer by about 20% in bars and supermarkets, said Jacqueline Lariven, spokeswoman for the French brewer’s federation, Brasseurs de France.
The Brewers of Europe trade group described the measure as a “kick in the teeth”, as it follows a 6% fall in beer production and an 8% drop in consumption in the EU since the region’s debt crisis began in 2008.
Outside France, Belgium and Germany were likely to be hardest hit by the new legislation, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, head of the Brewers of Europe.
“This measure will affect all brewers, including small entrepreneurs,” he said. “This is a very shortsighted approach by penalising one sector.”
President Hollande said he hoped to raise €480m (£300m) from the tax increase on beer to boost medical insurance and elderly care.
Dutch brewer Heineken ends the stand-off over control of the maker of Tiger beer, by garnering the support of a Thai billionaire.
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Heineken’s bid to take control of the maker of Tiger Beer takes a surprise twist after a Thai firm offers to buy a stake in the brewer.
Ajinomoto Co., the nation’s largest food maker, may sell a stake in its Calpis Co. milk beverages unit to beermaker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. as brewers grapple with a seven-year decline in consumption by volume.
The company is considering a sale of shares in the unit to Asahi, Ajinomoto said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday. No decision has been made, Asahi said in a separate statement after the Nikkei newspaper reported the brewer could pay
Boardroom reshuffle at world’s second largest brewer breaches traditional corporate governance practices
Brewer SAB Miller has breached City convention by elevating its long-standing chief executive Graham Mackay to chairman.
Mackay will serve as executive chairman for a year, after which his replacement as chief executive – another long-serving South African executive Alan Clark – will take day-to-day control of the world’s second largest brewer.
Mackay is stepping up to chairman as Meyer Kahn, the 72-year-old South African who steered the business from a sprawling conglomerate under the isolated apartheid regime to a FTSE 100 company, is retiring after 46 years.
The boardroom reshuffle, announced on Monday, breaches traditional corporate governance practices, which do not permit a chief executive to become chairman unless there is a good explanation from the company. Neither are the corporate governance codes keen on the chairman being a full-time executive, as Mackay will be for a year.
Sarah Wilson, chief executive of corporate governance experts Manifest, said: “As an interim measure some shareholders might think it is OK but given the lack of the independence on the board they are going to have to face some tricky questions”. Mackay, one of the FTSE 100′s longest serving bosses, will move up to the chairman’s role at the annual meeting in July.
A spokesman for the brewer, which makes Peroni, Grolsch, Miller Lite and Castle Lager, confirmed that no external candidate has been considered for the roles of chairman or chief executive.
Senior independent director John Manser has written to shareholders ahead of the AGM insisting that the succession arrangements – some of them in breach of the UK corporate governance code – were appropriate for SABMiller. Of MacKay’s transition to chairman Manser said he was “the outstanding candidate for the position”.
Any investor protest at the succession plans is likely to be minimal as the appointments have already been approved by US firm Altria, formerly part of Philip Morris, and the Colombian brewing family Santo Domingo. These two investors account for five board directors and just over 40% of shares.
Meyer joined SABMiller in 1966, becoming managing director in 1983 and executive chairman in 1990. He and Mackay floated the business on the London Stock Exchange in 1999. A decade later about 8.5% of the group’s South African division was transferred to a broad base of stakeholders, including staff and liquor store operators, under a government-sponsored black empowerment initiative.
Under the apartheid regime, SABMiller, then South African Breweries, was a messy conglomerate and the country’s largest employer. Divisions under the SAB umbrella included a supermarket chain, a clothing store, hotel and gambling companies as well as manufacturing interests in shoes, razors, matches, furniture, textiles and plate glass.
Since its listing in London, Meyer and Mackay have taken the business through a series of major takeovers in the rapidly consolidating global beer market. Landmark deals included the purchase of America’s number two brewer Miller and Australian brewer Foster’s, the firm behind Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught – but, confusingly, not Foster’s lager in the UK.
BOSTON (MainStreet) — That smooth, creamy stout American beer drinkers are sipping this St. Patrick’s Day may seem tame, but it’s a nitro-powered brew that’s driving brewers’ creativity.
The not-so-secret ingredient that gives Guinness its cascading bubbles and thick creamy head and gives craft breweries fizzy ideas of their own is nitrogen, and it’s getting a lot more common. First used by Guinness in the late 1950s and early 1960s to maintain its beer’s wooden cask character when the industry started switching to aluminum and fabricated metal kegs, nitrogen helped Guinness sales in the U.S. bubble up by 3.9% in 2010 and is sneaking its way into beer styles that bear little resemblance to Guinness’ stout.
The not-so-secret ingredient that gives Guinness its cascading bubbles and thick creamy head and gives craft breweries fizzy ideas of their own is nitrogen, and it’s getting a lot more common.
“What we found as we started to develop pressurized systems was that you could start putting a little bit of nitrogen in and it would create this surge and settle process that became synonymous with the product,” Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray says. “The use of the smaller nitrogen bubble which is inert and didn’t change the flavor gave us the nice, more compact head on top of the pint that would last as long as the pint was in the glass.”
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