Dmitry Nekrasov’s Philosophy — on the Past, Present and Future of Ukrainian Brewing IndustryA meeting with Dmitry Nekrasov always turns into a training course: “Introduction to brewing business“. We are talking to a clever “playing trainer“ a person that can be called a godfather of the Ukrainian craft. He has a dozen of successful projects to his name. Dmitry told us about craft beer in Ukraine, on market cycles, on specifity of operating in retail and HoReCa, on union of Ukrainian brewers and certainly, how a brewery of his own, First Dnipro Brewery is doing.
The market of import beer in Russia: review and databasesThe market of import beer is rapidly growing and changing. But while in the past years it was growing due to brands variety, in 2019 major and affordable brands from TOP-10 were developing actively. It seems that the fact of a brand origin from far abroad counties, even if it is not well known but has moderate price and good distribution provides for million liters of sales in the territory of Russia. Among distributors AB InBev Efes was far behind, yet the role of Baltika and suppliers of the second row got more important. The boom of German brands was followed by stagnation of import from other traditional regions (and Belarus) instead the supplies from Mexico, Lithuania and Asian countries grew considerably.
Russia: Positions of Brewing CompaniesThe review contains an analysis of interim performance of brewers in the first half of 2019. There are rather dynamic changes behind a modest industry growth. Baltika is again experiencing a stage of volumes and market share slid due to competition with AB InBev Efes. Because of the price competition and presence expansion in the modern trade company #2. has come close to the leading position. At the same time sales of Heineken Russia have continued growing which makes the premium part of the portfolio heavier. The market premiumization trend had been also confirmed by import brands. MBC and Zavod Trekhsosenskiy have been the most successful among federal market players. The market share of independent regional brewers and Ochakovo have continued falling as they are being squeezed out by the market leaders at their competitive fields.
Ukrainian beer market 2019: companies and brandsIn 2019 beer production and market have been still fluctuating about zero point. However, the past season was successful for brewers judging by the sales profitability. The price mix has improved due to rapid general market premiumization, as well as its particular aspect, the growth of import beer sales. By the season end AB InBev Efes improved its positions considerably. It turned out that consumers had not forgot Efes brands that had to leave the market, but started to recover rapidly. Against the stagnating market that meant sales decline of other companies, in the first place Carlsberg Group that most of all beneficiated from Efes exiting the market. PPB turned out to be stable to branding activity of its competitor and Obolon kept the same volumes and at the moment it is the absolute leader of the economy segment. The share growth of independent producers took place thanks to leading craft breweries, that so far do not have a big market weight, but they are rapidly gaining it.
Brewing industry in Kazakhstan 2019During the first half of 2019, the majority of Kazakh brewers made their contribution into positive dynamics. Yet it was companies of the lower division, not the two transnational leaders that raised their production and sales. The shares of draft beer and aluminum can which is rapidly squeezing glass bottle out of the market, have been growing. The price segmentation has remained stable despite the substantial rise of retail prices and fluctuations of brand market shares, while the borders between segments have become blurred. The main events in the industry have been: the announced revision of the beer excise policy, launch of BeerKhan brand in the strong beer segment, and most important – purchasing assets of Shymkentbeer by Arasan.
The trend of complication of Russian beer market is going on and in several directions at the same time. The range has got wider, the import and small segments are growing, namely craft beer, alcohol-free beer and special flavor beer. At the same time, all ex-mega brands and light lagers by Russian brewers are experiencing a decline of their shares. AB InBev Efes, Heineken, MBC and Pivzavod Trekhsosenskiy have exceeded the market, Carlsberg was developing slower than the market and Ochakovo as well as some other mid-sized breweries have been cutting down their volumes. To a big extent brewers’ performance was connected to their ability to reach agreement with networks, sacrifice their margin and enter new markets. Craft brewers are facing a serious danger of producers’ registration introduction – de facto licensing. ...
In Beer Deals, the Pause That Refreshes
SABMiller’s $10.5 billion takeover offer in June sent Foster’s Group Ltd. shares surging, as eager investors in the Australian brewer waited for a higher offer or a white knight. Neither has materialized. Foster’s shares, which reached 5.23 Australian dollars (US$5.78 at current rates) on June 22, have fallen back to A$5.05, hitting a post-offer low of A$4.98 on Friday and edging back to the A$4.90 a share bid price.
Industry observers now say that a big new bid is unlikely. Other suitors are too small or too busy on other projects, they say. Meanwhile, Foster’s has vigorously defended its independence, while SABMiller may have good reason to wait before springing its next move.
Some analysts also say Foster’s presents a challenge for potential suitors, as any effort to turn around years of slow growth in its home market could eat into its profit margins.
“We believe there will be no competing bids based on our assessment of global brewer balance sheets,” said Credit Suisse analysts in a research note.
Foster’s continues to insist the SABMiller bid is too low. On Friday, Chief Executive John Pollaers said there had been no engagement with SABMiller since the approach was made. SABMiller has said it will continue to seek talks with Foster’s.
Australian brewer Foster’s is trying to fend off a takeover attempt. The number of potential bidders in the brewing world isn’t big. Credit Suisse says that among the few that could fund a deal are Grupo Modelo of Mexico and the world’s biggest brewer by volume, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
But they are unlikely to bid due to competitive issues, an interest in other targets or a focus on bulking up in emerging markets.
In Japan, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. has growth ambitions and an existing tie-up with Foster’s to market Asahi’s flagship beer in Australia. But its market capitalization is roughly equal to Foster’s, and a Tokyo-based banker says most Japanese lenders would not be willing to fund such a large acquisition. Also, Japanese accounting rules mean that Asahi would have to amortize a large amount of goodwill swiftly, making the deal less attractive.
Asahi is already seeking a stake or a controlling position in smaller New Zealand-headquartered Independent Liquor Ltd. instead. It has already submitted a competing bid against Japanese rival Suntory Holdings Ltd., and final bids are due Thursday, said a person familiar with the matter.
If no competitor emerges, SABMiller may wait until Foster’s full year results are unveiled on Aug. 23 before reviewing its offer so that it can get more detail on its target. “We believe SABMiller is in this fight for the long haul and is strongly motivated to make this deal happen,” said David Thomas, an analyst at broker CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in a note.
Many analysts expect SABMiller to eventually raise its offer after Foster’s results are released, but only marginally. At about 12 times Foster’s prospective full year core earnings, SABMiller’s offer is roughly in line with past brewery deals, according to analysts. The average brewery deal has historically been struck at about 11 times core earnings, they said.
If a deal does happen, Citigroup analysts question how SABMiller will maintain the profit margin at Foster’s beer business while reinvigorating growth. The Australian beer market has been roughly flat in terms of volume for nearly a decade, but Citi cites a roughly 40% operating margin at Foster’s Carlton United Brewers due in part to less competition.
Foster’s and the No.2 brewer in the market, Lion Nathan, have raised beer prices above inflation for 15 of the last 17 years. But in recent months beer sales volumes have slipped and supermarkets have been slashing prices.
UBS analyst Naomi Takagi says Foster’s has been losing market share in recent years and to defend itself has cut wholesale prices of premium brands. A spokesman for Foster’s said its wholesale price agreements with customers are confidential.
Takagi says if SABMiller wins control of Foster’s the buyer is more likely to work on building brands by careful targeting of customers rather than heavily discounting products to achieve growth. “If SABMiller enters the market, the focus should shift from price to brand,” said Takagi.
And that means Australians may see an end cheaper beer prices if SABMiller wins Foster’s.
2 Авг. 2011