Sniff it and see

By Nicholas Watson of bne

There’s an old saying in the Czech Republic that if a Czech’s goat dies, he won’t pray for another but rather that his neighbour’s goat will die too. And so it was in the 1990s when even though many Czechs were weary of the limited choice from the large brewers that had dominated under communism, they spitefully boycotted an upstart called Stanislav Bernard and his new “honest, traditional unpasteurized beer.”

But today Bernard is having the last laugh. He eventually won over the recalcitrant locals to create one of the country’s largest independent breweries, and in doing so helped foster an industry that has boomed to the point where Czech craft beer makers are now looking to export their products around the world. Read more

Is Russia the world’s toughest beer market? It’s beginning to look that way, after Heineken said on Tuesday it would see a 10 per cent decline in volumes sales in the country this year. That’s even worse than a recent gloomy assessment by Carlsberg, which said volume had slumped by 7 per cent in the first half.

“Russia is a very, very difficult market,” René Hooft Graafland, Heineken’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call, warning that profits were likely to fall this year “in the low single digits”, sending the brewer’s shares down 5 per cent by mid morning in Amsterdam. Read more

Strong sales in emerging markets have propped up SAB Miller’s profits – again – despite the slowdown in the global economy and unfavourable foreign exchange and input costs.

The question is how long will it last? Read more

Alcoholic drink maker Diageo released some impressive results this week on the back of continued strong performance in emerging markets, which now account for almost 40 per cent of the company’s revenues.

Today, East Africa Breweries (EABL), which is 50-per-cent owned by Diageo and is Kenya’s largest company by market capitalisation, released its full-year results, allowing a closer look at conditions in one of Diageo’s fastest-growing regional markets.  Read more