The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
Global hop marketA local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms.
Hop Market in RussiaGermany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.
Doubts over SABMiller bid for Fosters
Why would the London-listed global brewer clear the decks if it was not gearing up to pounce? On the other hand, analysts are far from convinced that SABMiller would benefit much from doing so, apart from increasing its size and planting a flag in the Pacific.
The actual profit potential from synergy savings is marginal, especially in Australia, which is a developed market.
Figures from Evolution Securities point to Australia being five times more profitable per hectolitre of beer than the UK, but Foster's share price is already discounting a fully priced bid of about $11.5 billion and that includes the troubled wine interests, Treasury Wine Estates, which encompasses the Rosemount, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Wynn's labels.
Could rivals be tempted into the fray and flush out SABMiller? Some speculate that Japan's big brewers, themselves struggling with static home markets, might be interested, but they have never made a success of overseas acquisitions and would face the same lack of cost-saving opportunity as SABMiller.
However, the cost of capital to the Japanese is minimal and the desire to do something - anything - to revive their businesses is strong.
Foster's shareholders would love a premium to the present share price, which almost 10% below where it stood last summer when the group said it was considering splitting the beer and wine arms into two separately listed companies, so divergent were their prospects and calls on capital.
However, it is hard to see anyone paying a premium price after Foster's announces its six-month figures in a couple of weeks' time. They are likely to be less than buoyant due to the floods and other recent natural disasters in its home market.
Even more depressing is that the potential that value of Treasury Wine Estates has probably decreased since Foster's turned down a ?1.7bn bid from Cerberus Capital, the US investment group, in the autumn.
Analysts calculate that the beer division is worth about $10bn, which at Foster's present share price puts a value of just $1.5bn (?1bn) on Treasury. Foster's said the Cerberus offer undervalued Treasury but the Americans have made no further move. Perhaps they think they are now in a buyers' market.
However, the Foster' s board has this week acted to secure Treasury's vital supplies of New Zealand wine by lifting its stake in Rapaura Vintners to 50%.
The popularity of sauvignon blanc, which now outsells chardonnay in Australia, means secure sources in Marlborough are essential. Rapaura is a key supplier to international markets with the capacity to package 11m cases a year.
That may help improve the prospects of a bidder for Treasury, but the Foster's board has a delicate balancing act to perform on February 15.
Assuming that Foster's announces the split of the beer and wine arms (watch the share price fall if it doesn't), the best prospect of attracting a premium bid for the beer division is to have it carry as little debt as possible. But that would mean saddling Treasury with extra burdens and making it less attractive.
Could Foster's announce a final solution with offers for both divisions on February 15? Stranger things have happened.
28 Jan. 2011