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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Rising Costs Prevent InBev’s Brazilian Subsidiary From Hitting Analysts’ Profit Targets

Amid a double-digit surge in the cost of goods sold and other expenses, Ambev SA, the Brazil-based Latin American unit of Anheuser Busch InBev, missed analyst expectations for first-quarter profit while still posting a 6.2 percent rise in net earnings. Total net income was $693 million, compared to a consensus estimate of $748 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were $1.3 billion, up seven percent compared to the first three months of 2018. AB InBev owns 61.9 percent of AmBev, which has a presence in 16 countries in the Americas, including Argentina and Canada.


Britvic’s Healthy Increases In Revenue, Profit Show It Benefited From U.K. Sugar Tax

British soft drinks company Britvic posted a pretax profit for the 28 weeks ended April 14 of $57.4 million, an 8.1 percent rise over the comparable period in 2018. The company said it benefited from the soft-drinks levy introduced by the U.K. government last April. Revenue for the period rose to $972 million from $927 million. CEO Simon Litherland said the U.K. soft drinks tax benefited the company's portfolio by accelerating the consumer trend toward low- and no-sugar brands. "Pepsi MAX has generated more incremental retail value than any other cola variant, while the rejuvenation of the Robinsons brand continued to deliver both significant revenue and squash category value growth," Litherland said. Britvic’s portfolio includes the Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, J20 and Tango brands.


Carlsberg Off To Strong Financial Start In 2019

After several years of cost cutting, Denmark’s Carlsberg brewery joined Heineken NV in reporting a strong start to the year as Asian revenue surged, helped by the acquisition of Cambrew, a Cambodian brewer. Revenue in the first quarter rose 6.4 percent on an organic basis, reaching $2.1 billion, beating analyst expectations of $2 billion. First-quarter sales in Asia rose 28 percent year-on-year in the first quarter ended March, the company said, partly because Asian drinkers have been switching to more expensive beers. Positive currency movements also helped the world's third-largest brewer. The brewer said its price mix, which indicates if the company sold more of its expensive beers, was positive across all regions, particularly in Eastern Europe, but the company lost market share in Russia where it hiked prices at the end of 2018 and in the first three months of 2019 to increase profitability.


Asahi U.K. Adds Cask Ales, Ciders To Super Premium Beer Lineup

Asahi U.K. is adding new premium brands to its premium beer portfolio  and making them available to its on trade and off trade customers across the U.K. and Ireland. Supported by its existing range that includes Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Asahi Super Dry, Pilsner Urquell, the company is adding Fuller’s London Pride, Frontier and Asahi U.K.’s first premium cider brand, Cornish Orchards. The company said it would use its Super Premium Brand portfolio, distribution network, and customer marketing and sales expertise to extend and grow the new range across the U.K. and Ireland.


Suntory To Switch To Bottles Made From Renewable Plant-Based Resins By 2030

As companies globally increase efforts to reduce plastic waste, Suntory Holdings says it plans to make all of its plastic bottles from renewable materials like resins and other plant-based components by 2030. Suntory’s bottles now are made from 10 percent PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resin from recycled plastic bottles. It will raised that to 60 percent to 70 percent by 2030, and make up the remainder with plant-based resin from pine trees and sugarcane residue. To meet its goal, Suntory is investing $457.5 million in a U.S. factory with Anellotech of New York. Mass production will begin in 2023, with soft drinks in bottles made from 100 percent plant matter available in 2024.[Image Credit: © Suntory Holdings Limited]

U.K. Supermarket Chain Waitrose Now Selling Japanese Vodka Brand

After becoming the first grocery retailer to sell a Japanese gin brand, British supermarket chain Waitrose has begun selling the Japanese vodka Haku, made from Japanese ingredients by artisans at the House of Suntory. Haku Vodka was created at the same time as Roku but was sold first in the U.S. market. The premium spirit is made from 100 percent Japanese white rice using a meticulous rice milling and polishing process that results in a mild and subtly sweet flavor. Haku Vodka has already secured listings in U.K. bars and restaurants such as Nobu, the Ritz and Roka.
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