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.
Heineken, Carlsberg ratings will survive French beer tax: Moody’s Investment Service
On December 13, the French Constitutional Court (Conseil Constitutionnel) rubber-stamped government plans to raise beer excise duty by 160% from January 1, senior analyst at Moody’s Investor’s Service, Yasmina Serghini-Douvin, noted in a sector comment.
As of January 2013, the standard excise duty rate for beer in France will jump 160% to €7.2 ($9.56) per hectoliter/degree of alcohol of finished product (from €2.75 in 2012) for breweries with a yearly production exceeding 200,000 hectoliters. Serghini-Douvin wrote.
“French market leader Heineken, with an estimated market share (in volume) of approximately 32.4% and Carlsberg Breweries, with 29.1%, are likely to bear the brunt of the proposed tax hike,” she added.
Operational weakness risk
But the analyst said that the French tax hike would not affect Moody’s ratings for the brewing giants – Heineken: Baa1, Carlsberg: Baa2 – because they continued to focus on generating cash flow and diversification.
Heineken’s recent acquisition of Asia Pacific Beverages (APB), in particular, would reduce its Western European net sales exposure from 45% to 41%, Serghini-Douvin observed
That said, she warned that Heineken’s credit metrics would deviate from targets set out for the Baa1 rating category: debt/EBITSA of below 3.0x and retained cash flow (RCF)/net debt in the low to mid-20s in percentage terms.
Similarly, Carlsberg’s credit metrics had deteriorated since 2011 driven by weak performance in Eastern Europe, the analyst said; the firm had RCF/net debt of 23.3% in 2011, while debt/EBITDA was 3.1x “above level deemed appropriate for its rating category”.
“The above metrics leave these companies in a somewhat more vulnerable position to cope with operational weakness,” Serghini-Douvin said, “driven by a challenging macroeconomic and fiscal climate across Europe and an uncertain input cost environment.
Retail price hikes of 15-20%
The analyst said that, as a result of the tax increase, Moody’s expected beer sold in supermarkets (the bulk of volumes sold in France) to see much steeper price rises than drinks sold via on-premise channels, because beer duty was based on volumes, not prices.
Moody’s expected Brewers to pass on the higher tax to consumers, Serghini-Douvin said, with Carlsberg and Heineken estimating price increases of 15% to 20%. the analyst wrote.
The threat to beer volumes was compounded by French plans to raise standard VAT to 20% from 19.6% and its reduced rate (in restaurants, for instance) from 7% to 10%, she added.
Worse still, beer volumes in France had fallen in recent years, Moody’s noted, prompting Heineken to focus on its premium portfolio (including its eponymous brand) and push brands such as Desperados and Pelforth in the on trade.
Kronenbourg losing ground
The premium category gained share in recent years as a result, Moody’s said, while Carlsberg also reported market share improvements in 2011, particularly in the on-trade channel.
“However, the company has suffered from the steady decline in the mainstream category where its popular Kronenbourg brand has been losing ground. To boost market share and growth, Carlsberg announced restructuring efforts in the country.”
Beer taxes had risen across Europe in recent years as governments tried to curb national deficits, Moody’s said, with Holland’s recent hike, and measures planned in Italy and Finland.
“Overall, we believe that brewers most exposed to Europe will continue their cost-cutting efforts in order to preserve their margins in the region in 2013,” Serghini-Douvin wrote.
“However, we remain concerned that cost-cutting might not prove sufficient to mitigate weak demand in light of largely unfavorable trading conditions across most European countries, driven by austerity measures, higher taxes and still high unemployment rates.”
20 Dec. 2012