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    29.01.2013   Australia: SABMiller’s flagship VB beer reports first gain in sales for more than a decade    ( )

    Brewing major Foster's has reported further declines in sales for the December quarter despite its flagship Victoria Bitter reporting its first gain in sales for more than a decade.

    Parent company SABMiller, which acquired Foster's for $12.3 billion in December 2011, on January, 22 reported a 4 per cent decline in underlying sales by volume for the three months to the end of December compared with the same period a year earlier.

    However, the sales decrease was in line with the overall beer market, and SAB noted the pace of decline had slowed from the 8 per cent fall seen in the September quarter.

    Including the loss of third-party brands Foster's had previously brewed under licence such as Corona, Asahi and Stella Artois, sales were down 15 per cent.

    All foreign brewers who previously licensed their brands to Foster's used "change of control" provisions in their contracts to move to other brewers -- mostly Lion -- following the SABMiller takeover.

    Coca-Cola Amatil is hoping to poach a number of these brands from Lion once its brewing joint venture with winemaking group Casella is allowed to enter the Australian beer market.

    CCA is locked out of the Australian beer sector until December 16 under the terms of an agreement with SABMiller, negotiated during the 2011 sale of CCA's stake in brewing joint venture Pacific Beverages to the British company.

    The highlight of the result was a 2 per cent gain in sales volumes of VB, boosted by the company's decision to restore its alcohol content to its original 4.9 per cent, having been cut to 4.6 per cent in 2009 to save on excise.

    SAB said the sales boost was also the result of "improved retail engagement," suggesting the company may have cut its prices in order to boost volumes.

    The sales increase was a significant turnaround for VB, which 10 years ago accounted for one in every four beers sold in Australia but now has a market share of closer to 12 per cent.

    Sales of the brew have declined in every quarter for the past decade, including a 13 per cent fall in the September quarter.

    SABMiller, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, reported a 2 per cent increase in global beer sales by volume, while revenue was up 8 per cent thanks to price hikes and a consumer shift to premium brews.
    26.03.2012   Coopers reportedly tipped to tie up a distribution deal for Carlsberg and Kronenbourg beers    ( )

    South Australian brewer Coopers is tipped to tie up a distribution deal for the Carlsberg and Kronenbourg beer brands, The Shout reported on March, 23.

    The low-volume Carlsberg Group brands are currently distributed by Foster’s, but would appear to be competing in the same market segment as the SABMiller company’s proprietary European imports, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell, which became part of the Foster’s portfolio in December.

    The Danish Carlsberg Group is known to have been shopping the brands around in recent months and its options for distribution are somewhat limited.

    Having recently inked the heavyweight Corona deal, Lion’s attentions are clearly elsewhere and a distribution agreement with Carlsberg would not be an attractive option for either party.

    Coopers is believed to have expressed an interest in the import brands, which appealingly for Carlsberg, would have the SA brewer’s undivided attention, and would require distribution on a scale Coopers could easily handle.

    Last year Coopers began brewing Japanese Sapporo beer at its Regency Park brewery.

    In September 2009, Coopers ceased distributing Budweiser through Premium Beverages after a six-year agreement when Anheuser-Busch was taken over by Belgian brewer InBev.

    Coopers also distributed Grolsch from late 2007 until May 2008 when the Dutch beer company was taken over by SABMiller.

    A Coopers spokesperson declined to comment.
    12.09.2011   SABMiller plc to make takeover offer for Foster’s Group Limited at A$4.90 per share    ( Company news )

    SABMiller plc ("SABMiller") proposes, through its indirect wholly owned Australian subsidiary SABMiller Beverage Investments Pty Ltd ("Bidder"), to make a conditional, off-market, cash takeover offer for all of the issued shares in Foster's Group Limited ("Foster's") at A$4.90 per fully paid ordinary share, reduced by the amount of any dividend or distribution paid or declared by Foster's after today's announcement (the "Offer").
    The Offer will extend to all the partly paid ordinary shares in Foster's. The price under the Offer for each partly paid ordinary share will be A$4.90 in cash less any amount unpaid on the relevant partly paid share, reduced by the amount of any dividend or distribution paid or declared by Foster's after the date of this announcement, subject to a minimum price of A$0.01.
    The Offer will be subject to the fulfilment of a number of conditions, many of which are customary in a change of control situation. The proposed Offer conditions are set out in the annexure to today's announcement.
    (SABMiller plc)
    17.01.2011   Queensland Flood Relief    ( Company news )

    The Queensland floods have devastated homes, livelihoods and taken lives across the state, with the current threat far from over.
    Many Foster’s employees have spent the last days and weeks supporting friends and family, assisting customers to repair and maintain businesses, with many preparing their own homes for potential flooding. The recovery effort is likely to continue for many months.
    To support these efforts, the business will commit $500,000 in cash and kind to be donated via
    - a donation to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Fund;
    - direct assistance to employees and their families who been affected by the floods;
    - distribution of non-alcohol products to emergency workers and affected residents; and
    - matching employee donations to the Relief Fund.
    Customers Please Note:
    Customers are advised that allowing for the safety and practicability of delivery and the availability of customers to receive orders, production and distribution facilities for South East Queensland still continue to operate. (Foster's Group Limited)
    22.11.2010   Australia: SABMiller still declining to comment on interest in Foster’s beer division     ( )

    SABMiller Plc, the maker of Miller, Grolsch and Peroni beers, has confirmed interest in making acquisitions but has again declined to comment if Australian brewer Foster's is on its shopping list, The Sydney Morning Herald communicated on November, 19.
    London-based SABMiller released on November, 18 its first-half profit results which beat estimates on growth in all regions outside Europe, and said it was looking for new deals.
    Chief financial officer Malcolm Wyman made the comments during an interview with Bloomberg Television. He declined to comment on Foster's amid growing speculation that SABMiller might bid for its beer division, Carlton & United Breweries.
    SABMiller, the world's second-biggest brewer by volume after AB InBev, already has exposure to the Australian market through a joint venture with Coca-Cola Amatil. The joint venture partners have a brewery in New South Wales and produce Peroni and Bluetongue beer. The pair are estimated to have a 10 per cent market share of the local premium beer sector.
    SABMiller's adjusted earnings rose 19 per cent to $US1.47 billion in the six months ended September from $US1.24 billion a year earlier.
    Profit increased in four out of five continents, driven by volume growth in Africa and China, higher prices and the strength of the company's major operating currencies against the dollar.
    The Foster's board announced earlier this year its intention to pursue a demerger of its beer and wine operations, with the corporate split to be struck next year. The demerger process may attract buyers for either division. SABMiller is considered a leading candidate to purchase CUB.
    07.09.2010   Australia: Foster’s CFO resigns amid beer and wine businesses demerger     ( )

    Australia's Foster’s Group has been hit by the resignation of its finance director in the midst of the demerger of its wine and beer businesses.
    Angus McKay will leave towards the end of this year to join Asciano, the Australian ports and rail operator, as chief financial officer, Foster’s announced on September, 2.
    His resignation comes as suitors including London-listed SABMiller and Japan's Asahi Breweries are among those eyeing a potential bid for Foster's brewing division.
    Foster's plans to demerge into two companies in the first half of 2011, a process likely to be disrupted by Mr McKay's decision.
    "His experience and business acumen will be missed at a time when the group is going through a complex demerger," said Paul van Meurs, an analyst at Deutsche Bank.
    Mr McKay became Foster's chief financial officer in January 2008 after joining the group four years earlier.
    The company's share price was down 1 cent at A$6.10. It has risen 18.4pc since plans for the demerger were revealed.
    Foster's said a search for a successor to Mr McKay had already begun.
    05.07.2010   Australia: Foster’s brews Carlton Natural     ( )

    Australia’s No. 1 brewer Foster’s Group announced on June, 30 the launch of a new addition to the Carlton range - Carlton Natural.
    Carlton Natural hits the flavour and style bulls-eye for 25-30 year old guys looking for easy drinking, crisp dry flavour in beer that is low carb and brewed with natural ingredients, the company said.
    The launch of Carlton Natural will be supported with a mulit-million dollar trade and consumer marketing campaign featuring TV and press ads, outdoor billboards and on and off-premise executions, in market over the coming months.
    19.04.2010   New Zealand: Foster’s fails to prevent registration of Fiji Beer trademarks by another company     ( )

    Foster’s Group Limited, the maker of Fiji Bitter and Fiji Gold beer, has failed to prevent the registration of Fiji Beer trademarks that Flour Mills of Fiji (FMF) filed in New Zealand in 2007, Radio Fiji communicated on April, 16.
    The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand says Foster’s and the FMF trade marks are visually and conceptually different, particularly in the style.
    It says the inclusion of the letters “fmf” in the logo trademarks strongly suggest that the beer is produced by FMF and not Foster’s.
    The Intellectual Property Office says Foster’s trade marks for beer are well known in New Zealand, despite their beer not being sold there.
    The assistant commissioner who ruled on the case didn’t want to approve a disclaimer for Foster’s, a practice the Intellectual Property Office dropped some years ago.
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