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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.

Malaysia. GAB’s net profit up on higher sales volume

Guinness Anchor Bhd’s (GAB) net profit climbed 28.9% year-on-year for the first full quarter since Heineken NV became its indirect majority shareholder in October last year.

In announcing its quarterly results to Bursa Malaysia, the malt liquor brewer said for the quarter ended March 31, its bottom line grew to RM50.85mil compared with a year earlier, spurred by higher sales, phasing of commercial spend and more effective commercial investment.

The company’s revenue, meanwhile, rose 4.9% to RM458.9mil from the same quarter in 2015 mainly due to higher sales volume and better brand mix on the backdrop of good festive performance during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

РуштGAB, which is in the process of changing its name to Heineken Malaysia Bhd, added that the underlying growth was partially off-set by the replacement of sales tax by the goods and services tax.

For the nine-month period to March 31, net profit jumped 20.3% to RM204.8mil on 2.75% higher revenue of RM1.39bil.

GAB attributed the better bottom line mainly to higher sales and improved cost efficiency in commercial spending. “Our robust commercial strategy backed by investments behind brands and effective channel executions have been yielding good results,” it said.

On its prospects, the company said the group continued to operate in a challenging environment with the recent increase in excise duties for alcohol products (effective since March 1) and subdued Malaysian consumer sentiment,

“The group will continue to focus on delivering on its key strategies for the financial year, whilst staying agile and adapting quickly to any changes in the environment. Following a resilient first nine months’ performance, the group remains confident that it will deliver a good performance for the financial year ending Dec 31,” GAB said.

In a statement, GAB managing director Hans Essaadi said its performance continued to show solid growth, credited to its effective long-term strategies targeting tailored core brands’ activation platforms, prodcut innovation, and operational efficiencies.

“We expect to maintain the momentum going forward by leveraging on Heineken’s strong global brands’ activation platforms, and supported by an efficient global supply chain which opens opportunities for cost savings through more strategic procurement,” he said.

GAB is cautious of increasing prices as this will push consumers away from duty-paid products to contraband.

Essaadi said that it was imperative for the beer and stout industry to continue to work with the Government to further develop a sustainable business eco-system for local businesses.

“We appreciate and fully-support the efforts of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department in combating contraband beer, which continues to lead to revenue loss to the industry and also represents significant loss in taxes to the Government,” he added.

To commemorate the company’s 50th Anniversary, on Jan 19 GAB declared a single-tier special dividend of 30 sen per 50 sen stock unit on top of the single-tier interim dividend of 20 sen unit giving a total dividend of 50 sen for the financial period ending Dec 31, payable on April 15.

14 Апр. 2016



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