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4-2017

Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

India. Maker of Kingfisher beer witnesses 13.5% growth in profit in FY16

United Breweries Ltd makes public the directives it has received from the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Bengaluru, and from the income tax authorities in the city relating to one of its directors

United Breweries Limited (UBL), the country’s biggest manufacturer of beer, posted a 13.5 percent growth in net profit in the just concluded financial year. The maker of India’s top selling beer brand, Kingfisher, reported Rs 294.57 crore in profit in FY16 compared to Rs 259.53 crore in FY15. Revenue in the period under review stood at Rs 5,081.48 crore, a growth of 8.3 percent from Rs 4,692.29 crore reported a year ago.

“UBL’s primary volumes increased by 9 percent in the fourth quarter, with which the full fiscal year for UBL resulted in a volume growth in line with the industry growth,” said the company in a statement to the stock exchanges.

The beer industry recorded an 8 percent growth in the January to March quarter of the last fiscal, resulting in a 4 percent annual growth in FY16. UBL said it had achieved 50 percent market share as of March 2016.

UBL’s shares were trading down by 2.45 percent at Rs 745.20 apiece, in afternoon trade on Monday, while the benchmark Sensex was down by 0.36 percent.

Meanwhile, UBL made public that it has received an order from the Debts Recovery Tribunal, in Bengaluru, which directs it not to “pay/release” funds with respect to shares held by one of its directors. While no name was mentioned, it is fairly clear that the person in question is UBL Chairman Vijay Mallya, who claims to be living in “forced exile” in the United Kingdom.

“The company has received an order dated September 30, 2015, form the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Karnataka, Bengaluru, whereby the company has been directed not to pay/release amounts that may be payable with respect to shares in the company held by a director (including his joint holdings) and United Breweries (Holdings) Limited, without prior permission,” the company said it its statement.

Accordingly, the company said it “would withhold payment of proposed divided on aforesaid shares, which is subject to approval by the shareholders in the ensuing annual general meeting”.

The board of directors of UBL has recommended a dividend of Rs 1.15 per equity share of Re 1 for FY16. Mallya, through various Indian investment entities, holds 8,11,88,930 shares in UBL, which represents a 30.71 percent stake in the company.

More recently, on March 11, 2016, the company received another directive this time from the deputy commissioner of Income Tax (international tax), Bengaluru. The order requests the company “to create a charge in favour of the central government on any amount due or likely to be due to a director of the company, to the extent of Rs 67,980 lakh, relating to tax demands on Kingfisher Airlines Limited.” The company further stated that it has “accordingly withheld payment of Rs 161 lakh relating to director commission payable to the aforesaid director”.

16 May. 2016

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