The Wall Street Journal is reporting that sales of beer have gone flat in emerging countries. You can read the full article here. The author, David Kesodel says that beer sales in emerging economies are cooling, sapping a key source of profit growth. The abrupt weakness, especially in Eastern Europe, is putting pressure on brewers’ profits and could accelerate consolidation in an industry that has seen several multibillion-dollar deals in the past few years. Here is an outake:
InBev NV, the brewer of Stella Artois and Beck’s, said Thursday that beer unit volume in Russia dropped 11 percent in the third quarter, compared with a 14 percent increase a year earlier. Volume in Brazil rose just 1.1 percent. InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, said net income fell 14 percent to <euro>447 million ($557.4 million). Revenue rose 4.5 percent to <euro>3.95 billion.
Carlsberg AS Wednesday said unit volume in Russia, where it has a major presence, fell 1 percent in the third quarter.
And London’s SABMiller PLC – which has one of the heaviest presences in developing markets – next week is expected to report slowing growth in some of its markets when it reports earnings. Three of its worst-performing markets are Russia, Colombia and South Africa.
Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit fell 5.7 percent due to charges for its pending sale to InBev SA, but sales rose in the quarter and the nation’s largest brewer gained market share. The maker of Bud Light and Budweiser said it earned $666.1 million, or 90 cents a share in the three-month period ending Sept. 30. That compares with profit of $706.7 million, or 95 cents a share, a year earlier. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch said its earnings include pretax charges of $166.2 million associated with its sale to the Belgian brewer and a retirement program, and gains of $15.3 million from the sale of distribution rights for Grolsch. When stripping those out, the company earned $1.05 a share, which beat analyst estimates by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters. Analysts generally exclude one-time items. Net sales rose to $4.92 billion from $4.62 billion last year, ahead of analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. Anheuser-Busch shareholders are set to vote on the deal next Wednesday. InBev shareholders have already approved the deal.
Shares of Anheuser-Busch rose 45 cents, less than 1 percent, to $64.08 in morning trading Thursday. The company said its U.S. shipments to wholesalers rose 2.3 percent in the quarter and sales to retailers grew 3.6 percent.
Worldwide beer volume rose 3 percent in the quarter.
The Associated Press is reporting that Boston Beer Co., which brews Samuel Adams beer and other beverages, on Tuesday reported a third-quarter loss, reversing a year-ago profit, as costs for ingredients and packaging materials rose. The company also opened a new brewery, booked more charges related to a recall earlier this year and cut its profit forecast for the full year, sending shares falling in aftermarket trading. For the three months ended Sept. 27, the brewer said it lost $295,000, or 2 cents per share, compared with a profit of $3.2 million, or 21 cents per share, in the corresponding period a year ago. The results included a charge of $1.2 million, 8 cents per share, resulting from shortfall fees at other brewers as a result of moving some production to its new Pennsylvania Brewery, and $1.2 million, or 8 cents per share, resulting from additional costs of a recall of certain glass bottles in April.
Revenue rose 20 percent to $101.1 million, from $84.1 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected profit of 28 cents per share, on revenue of $102.5 million. Boston Beer said sales of cases to retailers rose by 12 percent for the quarter, and that pricing has increased about 5 percent year to date. The company recorded double-digit growth in Samuel Adams seasonal beers, Twisted Tea and its Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection. The company said it expects minimal charges from the recall in 2009. Recall costs rose to $22.9 million, from the previously announced $20.6 million, due to more returns than expected. About 790,000 cases have been returned as a result of the recall, and 200,000 other cases were pulled out of circulation before being shipped. Boston Beer spent $33.1 million on improvements to the brewery near Allentown, Pa. As a result of moving production to the new site, the company will not meet minimum production requirements spelled out in deals with some other brewing companies, resulting in the charge. Shortfall fees in 2009, if any, “will be significantly less,” the brewer said.
According to the Delaware State News Coastal Brewing Co. is moving operations from its Ashburn, Va., brewery to its plant in Dover. The brewer of Fordham and Old Dominion beers says operating two breweries 130 miles apart didn’t make sense. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Casey Hollingsworth says the Ashburn brewery is scheduled to close next year. Employees there will be offered jobs in Dover. The two breweries produce about 30,000 barrels of beer a year. Hollingsworth says the Dover facility can expand and produce more beer than it currently makes.
Britons may be reeling from the international financial crisis, but few are crying into their beer. Beer sales are falling as the economy worsens, defying predictions in some quarters that consumers would buy their brew at supermarkets to escape higher prices at pubs. You can read the full story here. Here is an out take:
The British Beer and Pub Association reported Monday that total beer sales fell about 7 percent in the third quarter — the equivalent of 161 million fewer pints compared with the same period in 2007. Sales of the iconic British pint in pubs have been in decline for years, leading to the closure of thousands of hostelries around the country. Now the association’s Quarterly Beer Barometer reveals that the downturn has broadened to supermarket sales. “The accelerating decline in beer sales is a clear sign of a worsening economy, worried households and weakening spending,” said Rob Hayward, the association’s chief executive. Supermarket and liquor store sales fell 6 percent between July and September compared with the same period last year, slightly behind the 8.1 percent drop recorded for pubs, bars and restaurants.