10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
Beer market of Vietnam: “Young tiger”Vietnam is one of the few big beer markets that continue to grow steadily. The beer popularity results from its low price, street consumption culture, and social motives. The outlooks of beer market as well as the Vietnamese economy inspire optimism, though the country is heavily dependent on export of goods. The state regulation can be called liberal, but the key risk for brewers is harbored in intensive rising of excise. Within TOP-4 there are two leaders, Sabeco and Heineken that grow at the fastest rates. The first company effectively employs its capacities, the second one focuses on marketing technologies. Almost 80% of the market belongs to century-old brands, yet the middle class and the youth are shifting their interest toward international premium that is growing taking share from the mainstream.
AB InBev, Asahi Among Suitors for Vietnam’s Biggest Brewery
Dutch brewer Heineken NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and its merger partner SABMiller Plc, as well as Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. and Kirin Holdings Co. are among seven foreign companies that have registered to bid for stakes in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp., also known as Sabeco, its chief executive officer Le Hong Xanh said.
“Sabeco doesn’t care if the buyer is an international or domestic company,” Xanh said in an interview at the company’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters. “All we care about is who will pay the most. The government wants to sell its stakes as soon as possible.”
The deal is garnering interest from foreign beer brands attracted by Vietnam’s young population and rising middle class in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Its government is divesting stakes in its two market-leading brewers as a growing budget deficit forces the leadership to accelerate a plan to reduce holdings in state-owned firms.
Thailand’s Singha Asia Holding Pte. and Thai Beverage Pcl have also signed up to take part in the Sabeco auction, while Vietnamese brokerage Saigon Securities Inc. has joined the latest list of local potential buyers, said Xanh. That line-up is not permanent, and companies could drop out or more could join the list, he said.
Asahi “is interested in acquiring Sabeco,” its Tokyo-based spokesman Takuo Soga said by telephone. AB InBev, Kirin and Heineken declined to comment. Spokespersons for Saigon Securities, Thai Beverage and Singha-owner Boon Rawd Brewery Co. weren’t immediately available for comment.
Asahi shares rose as much as 1.1 percent in early Tokyo trading Thursday, before paring those gains to fall 0.1 percent, while Kirin declined as much as 1.6 percent. Thai Beverage fell as much as 1.5 percent in Singapore.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced Aug. 31 the government’s plan to sell its entire 89.59 percent stake in Sabeco, which it has valued at $1.8 billion, and its 82 percent holding in Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. for $404 million. Sabeco will be sold in two tranches in 2016 and 2017, while Hanoi Beer, or Habeco, will be divested this year, it said.
“There aren’t that many markets where foreign brewers would have a chance to secure an interest in a market-leading brewer,” said John Ditty, managing partner of KPMG Vietnam’s deals advisory unit. The government’s valuation of its stake isn’t “too much,” he said in an interview in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sabeco has strong brands and an existing distribution network, so what investors “have to decide is how much of a premium that is worth,” Ditty said.
The brewer expects net income to rise 10 percent to about 3.76 trillion dong ($169 million) in 2016, from 3.42 trillion dong it reported in 2015, double its target growth rate for the year, Sabeco’s Xanh said. That would put the Vietnam government’s valuation of its stake at about 11 times net income, compared with the median of about 62 times for brewery acquisitions announced worldwide in the past three years.
Some of the government’s stake in Sabeco will be listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in as soon as 45 to 60 days, Xanh said. After that, the government will auction 53.59 percent in the company within the year, and the remainder in 2017, he said. The proportion to be offered publicly will be decided by the ministry, Xanh added.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who said Aug. 29 Sabeco and Habeco must be publicly listed before the state divests them, will need to approve the entire process, Xanh said. The government wants the market to determine the price of stakes in Sabeco, and its listing will be overseen by Maybank Kim Eng Securities Thailand Pcl, he said.
Sabeco, brewer of Saigon Beer and 333 Beer, prefers to have several major shareholders, and its auction could attract more domestic companies, some of which could form joint ventures to pool resources for their bids, Xanh said. He declined to name other interested local parties.
In the case of Habeco, Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S has been awaiting the government’s permission to raise its 17 percent stake to 30 percent in the smaller state brewer, based in the capital Hanoi in Vietnam’s north.
Foreign brewers are raising their stakes in Vietnam as beer consumption in the country rose 6 percent in 2015 and is expected to keep growing until 2020, according to Euromonitor International. By contrast, key Asian markets such as China, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines declined last year.
“Vietnamese like to get together and whenever they do, beer is a must to drink,” Xanh said.
8 Sep. 2016