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.
SABMiller in $39.5m Indian tax fight
The company this month received a demand for payment of tax on the $120m deal. The move echoes the bitter $2.5bn dispute between India’s tax department and Vodafone, the UK telecoms company, over its 2007 purchase of Hong Kong-listed Hutchison’s assets in India.
The escalation of the SABMiller dispute comes as Vedanta Resources and Cairn Energy, two London-listed companies, are struggling to win regulatory approval for a $9.6bn purchase by Vedanta of oilfields in Rajasthan.
India is one of the few emerging markets seeking retrospective tax on deals done outside of the country by foreign companies. New Delhi’s vigorous pursuit of revenues on cross-border investments is viewed by some analysts as a deterrent to foreign investment in one of the world’s most promising emerging markets.
SABMiller’s acquisition of a brewery in Maharashtra and the Foster’s brand in India helped it become the second-largest brewer in the country, after the powerful United Breweries. Global brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev and Carlsberg have since followed the London-listed company into the Indian beer market.
The tax demand last week forced Foster’s to declare the potential liability to its shareholders, as SABMiller had agreed a tax indemnity with the Australian company at the time of the deal. The dispute has raged for two years and is before the Mumbai High Court. SABMiller has argued that tax is not liable on a transaction between two non-resident parties.
SABMiller said on Tuesday the company faced no liability from India’s tax authorities but that responsibility for any claims lay with Foster’s. “The Indians have sent us a final demand for payment. We’ve been very open about it,” he said.
SABMiller said: “The notice of demand issued to SABMiller by the Director of Income Tax in India for unpaid tax and interest … is subject to an indemnity granted by Foster’s to SABMiller in connection with the acquisition of Foster’s Indian operations in 2006.”
Foster’s said it was “confident of the positions that were taken in relation to Indian tax. Those positions will be defended vigorously in the Indian Courts.”
While SABMiller’s tax bill is small by comparison with the liability faced by Vodafone, a second example of a multinational being slapped with a tax demand a long time after the original transaction is likely to alarm investors, who fear one of the cases could set a precedent for the tax treatment of other deals.
"The tax revenue departments in India and China are on an overdrive when it comes to cross-border transactions. They are being viewed with a microscope," said Aseem Chawla, partner at legal firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff.
“The Income Tax department is … especially aggressive in these tax deduction at source (TDS) cases,” said Sachit Jolly, a senior associate at law firm Vaish Associates Advocates.
“After Vodafone, they have been after many companies sending notices to almost all companies who transact with non-resident companies. These companies are all under scrutiny.”
SABMiller has struggled with what some of its executives describe as “enormous tax obstacles” in India. It also suffered a setback in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh last year, when regulatory measures imposed by the state government cut its market share to 30 per cent of the beer market from a previous 60 per cent.
13 Apr. 2011