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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Brazil Market Strong For Ambev, Other South American Markets Were Weaker

Brazil’s Ambev SA reported a rise of 3.6 percent in sales volumes in its first quarter, boosted by sales in Brazil of its Corona, Spaten and Original from Carnival festivities. Other markets in the region saw weaker sales; Argentina declined almost 20 percent. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s net profit dropped 0.4 percent and overall sales volumes were flat. Sales revenue fell 1.2 percent. 


Britvic Posted Strong First-Half Sales Growth, Expects Second Half To Be Strong Too

Sales of Pepsi Max, Fruit Shoot and Lipton ice tea boosted Britvic sales during the first six months of the latest fiscal year. Britvic also said it expects strong growth to continue for the remainder of the year, and April sales were also strong. Sales volumes were up 4.4 percent in the first half of the year and pricing was also positive, resulting in a 10.9 percent rise in revenues. Organic growth, with M&A stripped out, was 2 percent. Pre-tax profits rose over 10 percent and EBIT was up 15.3 percent. CEO Simon Litherland said the market is normalizing. Pricing is moderating and volume growth is returning. He added growth drivers were GB and especially Pepsi, which grew revenue by 8.5 percent in the first half. J2O was up 4 percent, Fruit Shoot 7.5 percent and Ballygowan in Ireland was up almost 20 percent. Some of the smaller brands, like Aqua Libra, Jimmy’s iced coffee, London Essence and Plenish, reported strong growth, as did Brazil. France has started to recover. Litherland said the company isn’t planning strong pricing moves in H2, although inflation is still positive, and sees consumer confidence building with real wage growth and falling interest rates. He added that although it doesn’t believe it needs M&A to drive top-line or bottom-line growth, acquisitions like Plenish in GB, growing 168 percent, and energy brand Extra Power have been accretive.


India’s Three Big Brewers Form Trade Advocacy Group

Carlsberg has joined forces with AB InBev and Heineken’s United Breweries in creating an Indian trade group called the Brewers Association of India, aimed at lobbying government to make Indian beer market regulations more favorable for driving “innovation, moderation and sustainability”. It’s being created in alliance with the World Brewing Alliance. The three companies account for 85 percent of beer sales in India. 


Suntory Oceania’s AUD400 Million Queensland Plant To Start Non-Alcohol Production This Year

Work has started on Suntory Oceania’s new AUD400 million multi-beverage production and distribution center in Queensland, Australia. Suntory Oceania, a partnership of Suntory Global Spirits and Suntory Beverage & Food, is a multi-beverage partnership across Australia. 7,000 solar panels will power production of 20 million cases a year. Ian Roberts, who is joining as Chief Supply Chain Officer, said it’s the “largest single FMCG investment in Australia in over a decade” and the carbon neutral ‘smart’ facility “will give Suntory unrivalled ability to innovate, respond to customer demand, and deliver beverages that are made locally and sustainably”. Suntory Oceania covers over 40 leading brands, such as Jim Beam Canadian Club Whisky, V Energy and Suntory Boss Coffee, across categories such as premium spirits, ready-to-drink soft drinks, juice, water and coffee as well as energy and sports drinks. The new plant will be a major element of Suntory Oceania’s growth plans for Australia and will start non-alcohol production this year.

Carlsberg China’s New Foshan Facility To Start Trial Operations

Carlsberg China’s Chongqing Brewery Company is soon to start trial operations at its new plant in Foshan, Guangdong province. It will become Carlsberg’s flagship distillery, will house its first R&D center outside of Europe and will help the company meet demand in south China. 

Asian Markets Buoyed Carlsberg First-Quarter Sales But China Was Flat

Carlsberg posted 2.1 percent growth in sales volumes in the first quarter, boosted by Asian markets. Premium beer brands sales were up 8 percent. Volumes in China grew 5 percent, but in a flat market even though the Lunar New Year celebration saw record high numbers of people travelling. Overall sales grew 4.4 percent to 17.13 billion Danish crowns, ahead of analyst forecasts of 17 billion. It expects full year organic operating profit growth of 1-5 percent.


Prices For Six Lotte Products To Rise

China’s Lotte Chilsung Beverage is to hike prices across major product ranges, including Pepsi Cola, in response to a strengthening dollar against the won and rising prices of oil and raw materials. Six products - Chilsung Cider, Pepsi Cola, Gatorade, HOT6ix and Del Monte Juice – will see prices rise an average 6.9 percent, representing the first price rise for around 18 months. 

RJ Corp

Varun Beverages Posts 11% Revenue Rise In Q1

Pepsi’s Indian bottler, Varun Beverages, reported a rise in net profit of almost 25 percent in the quarter to end of March 2024 compared with the year-ago quarter, boosted by a hot summer. Revenue from operations was up 11.3 percent. 


Boston Beer Company Could Be A Suntory Acquisition Target

A Wall Street Journal article said Suntory has started talks to acquire Boston Beer Company. The two parties entered a strategic partnership in 2021 under which BBC included Suntory-owned spirits in its portfolio of RTDs. Likely terms of the deal are unclear but is likely to represent a markup on BBC’s current $3 billion market capitalization. BBC has had mixed fortunes recently, with share prices falling this year and softer sales for brands like Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard Hard Cider and Dogfish Head beer. Twisted Tea sales have remained strong, however. 
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