Australia. Foster’s says beer market decline easing

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Brewer Foster’s Group Ltd says a decline in the Australian beer market is easing, and the market should grow again once the current period of economic uncertainty ends.

“The market decline has begun to moderate in recent months, and we expect continued improvement,” Foster’s chairman David Crawford said in Foster’s 2011 annual report.

“The long-term fundamentals of the beer and cider categories in Australia remain strong, and once through the current period of economic uncertainty, we are confident that the beer category will return to its long-term trend of modest growth.”

The craft beer and international premium beer segments were likely to lead the beer category, and the cider category was expected to remain in strong growth.

Foster’s said beer was still the most popular alcohol category in the market, and there were opportunities for beer and cider to become even more popular.

The annual report showed that Foster’s chief executive John Pollaers, who started in the role in May 2011, received total remuneration for the year of $1.18 million.

Ian Johnston, who was previously chief executive until Foster’s demerged its beer and wine operations, received total remuneration of $5.89 million.

Foster’s shares ended two cents lower at $4.89 on Wednesday.