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    You are here: Company information - UB United Breweries (Holdings) Limited, breweries Division / Kingfisher Beer

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    UB United Breweries (Holdings) Limited, breweries Division / Kingfisher Beer

    India, Bangalore


     
    29.05.2018   India: United Breweries launches Amstel beer in India    ( E-malt.com )

    United Breweries Ltd (UBL), the maker of Kingfisher beer, on May 24 launched Amstel in India from its Dutch parent Heineken NV’s stable, to take on Carlsberg Elephant in the super-premium strong beer segment, Livemint reported.

    The company will now have four beers in the super-premium beer market—two mild (Heineken and Kingfisher Ultra) and two strong (Kingfisher Ultra Max and Amstel). The target is to take UBL’s market share in the super-premium beer segment to 50% over the next two years with these four brands, the company’s marketing head Samar Singh Sheikhawat said.

    The company estimates that it currently has an about 20% market share in the super-premium beer segment.

    Amstel will first be available in Karnataka and Pondicherry. In the next quarter, it will be launched in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, followed by most markets in the west in the following quarter and then the north in the third quarter.

    This is only the second brand from Heineken’s portfolio, apart from the Dutch company’s eponymous beer label, launched by UBL that will be bottled in India. Amstel will be brewed and bottled locally out of a brewery near Mysuru in Karnataka.

    Amstel, which has its roots in Amsterdam, will be priced at par with Carlsberg Elephant. A 650ml bottle of Amstel will cost about Rs140 in Karnataka, while the 500ml can will be priced at Rs95. Carlsberg Elephant costs around Rs140 for a 650ml bottle and Rs100 for the 500ml can.

    “The one gap that existed in our portfolio was we didn’t have an international super-premium strong beer. We have super-premium strong beer with Ultra Max but that’s domestic, not international. There’s a certain audience that wants an international super-premium strong beer and the two options that they have today are Carlsberg Elephant and Budweiser Magnum,” Sheikhawat said.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser Magnum and UBL’s Kingfisher Ultra Max are both priced higher than Amstel and Carlsberg Elephant. While Amstel will still, in some ways, compete with UBL’s own brands—from Kingfisher Strong and Storm to Ultra Max—the company expects to grab share mainly from Carlsberg Elephant.

    “At the end of the day, every strong beer competes with every other strong beer depending on occasion, budget, brand. It’s not a watertight compartment. The reality is that people who are drinking Tuborg Strong, Knockout, Hayward’s 5000 and even Kingfisher Strong will also upgrade,” Sheikhawat said, adding that the company wanted to fill its portfolio gap nevertheless.

    It also decided to fill that gap from its Dutch parent rather than create something within because within the super-premium market, beers with an international heritage and ingredients and branding are growing at faster rates than their domestic counterparts.

    While the domestic strong beer market is growing in the single-digits, according to the company, the international strong beer space has clocked a three-year compound annual growth rate of 40%.
     
    30.04.2018   India: Kingfisher Beer continues to top India's most trusted alcoholic beverage brands list    ( E-malt.com )

    Beleaguered Vijay Mallya may be embroiled in controversies but Kingfisher Beer brand, owned by Mallya-promoted United Breweries, continues to top the most trusted alcoholic beverage brands list, the Business Standard reported on April 18.

    As per the Brand Trust Report 2018, Kingfisher Beer, Black Dog and Budweiser are the top three most trusted alcoholic beverage brands.

    Kingfisher Beer has maintained its leadership position ...and remain the unmitigated leader for the last eight years of the Brand Trust Report, TRA Research CEO N Chandramouli said.

    Kingfisher is the flagship brand of United Breweries Ltd. In August last year, United Breweries announced its Chairman Vijay Mallya had ceased to be director of the company following market regulator Sebi's order against him.

    Mallya, who had fled to the UK in March 2016, is also wanted in India for Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore and some other matters.

    Royal Stag, Signature, Johnnie Walker ranked number four, five and six, respectively. Carlsberg, Blenders Pride, Tuborg and Imperial Blue are the other brand which figure in the top 10 list.

    Over 2,450 respondents participated in the survey conducted by TRA Research across 16 cities and its findings have been compiled in The Brand Trust Report 2018.

    As per the latest brand trust report, South Korean consumer durables firm Samsung, followed by Sony and LG are India's most trusted brand. Tata Group, the only Indian company to feature in the top five and US-based Apple occupy the fourth and the fifth ranking.

    Among India's 1,000 Most Trusted brands, the categories with the maximum brands were food and beverage and FMCG contributing to 25.6 per cent of the total brands in the listings.

    When compared to last year, 320 new brands made it to the list, 368 brands fell in rank, 307 brands rose in rank, and five brands retained their ranks, it said.
     
    17.01.2018   India: United Breweries shares up 6% following beer price hike    ( E-malt.com )

    United Breweries shares rallied nearly 6 percent intraday to hit a fresh record high of Rs 1,199 on Thursday, January 11 following beer price hike, Moneycontrol.com reported.

    CNBC-TV18 reports quoting Cogencis that the company has hiked its Kingfisher beer price by 7-8 percent in Mumbai.

    Meanwhile, company's gross revenues in July-September quarter grew by 24 percent and revenue net of duties increased 23 percent, driven by price increases, positive state and brand mix, as well as beer exports.

    The company had commenced direct export of beer from April 2017.

    During the quarter, United Breweries's volume growth at 11 percent was ahead of industry growth of 5 percent while operating growth was at 72 percent YoY.

    At 15:16 hours IST on January 11, the stock price was quoting at Rs 1,188.00, up Rs 56.40, or 4.98 percent on the BSE.
    (UB United Breweries (Holdings) Limited)
     
    22.08.2017   India: United Breweries introducing five imported beer brands from parent Heineken in India    ( E-malt.com )

    United Breweries Ltd, the maker of Kingfisher beer, is in the process of introducing five imported beer brands from its Dutch parent Heineken NV in India, challenging Anheuser-Busch InBev—currently the market leader for imported beers, Livemint reported on August 10.

    UB has introduced these brands—Sol, Edelweiss, Affligem, Dos Equis and Desperados—in select markets a month ago and is now expanding to other markets, marketing head Samar Singh Sheikhawat said.

    “We are very hopeful that with these five brands, we will have a solution for a consumer set who is looking for these offerings and did not find an answer in the UB portfolio. There is a growing market for this, a profitable market,” Sheikhawat.

    UB—India’s largest beer maker—aims to capture a fourth of India’s imported beer market with these five brands, Sheikhawat said. Before these brands were launched, UB had no presence in that segment.

    The new brands are expected to help UB expand its portfolio, enter a fast-growing segment, and partially offset the slowdown in the wider beer market. Of the five beers, Sol will take on Corona from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

    Apart from Corona, which has a market share of around 49% in imported beers, Anheuser-Busch InBev also sells Hoegaarden (about 27%) and Stella Artois (5%) imported beers in India.

    UB’s new beer brands will be priced between Rs240 and Rs290 a bottle. Alcohol by volume content in these brands ranges from 4.5% to 6.9%. They will all be imported and not manufactured or bottled in India.

    Heineken owns a 43% stake in UB. Anheuser-Busch InBev operates as Crown Beers India Ltd.

    According to UB, the market for imported beers is a tiny one, with almost a million cases selling every year.

    However, it is growing in double digits while the overall beer market is stagnant. It has expanded from 650,000 cases to 950,000 cases between 2013 and 2016, according to a combination of the company’s internal estimates and customs data.

    Imported lager was a three-million litre market by volume in 2016, according to data from Euromonitor International, which provides numbers only for imported lagers and not other kinds of imported beers. The total beer market clocked volume of 2.92 billion litres in 2016.

    UB’s new beer brands will be priced between Rs 240 and Rs 290 a bottle. Alcohol by volume content in these brands ranges from 4.5% to 6.9%. They will all be imported and not manufactured or bottled in India.

    “Price is not the chief determinant for this segment – provenance, story, heritage, beer experience etc is. Europe is associated with the best quality beers in the world, especially Belgian beers. Affligem is Belgian, Desperados is French and Edelweiss is Austrian,” Sheikhawat said.

    Sol and Dos Equis are both beers from Mexico and the former is UB’s answer to Corona, which also originates in Mexico. The new brands will be available in markets like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad and are targeted at the young and affluent urban population.

    “These are people who hang out, the affluent, for whom drinking is a casual, social pastime and they are heavily influenced by beers and in trying out new labels. That category is not too fussed about the price point and it is a growing market,” said Sreedhar Prasad, partner at KPMG in India.
     
    09.05.2017   India: United Breweries betting on its new Kingfisher Storm to wean away consumers from Carlsberg    ( E-Malt.com )

    India’s largest beermaker United Breweries (UB) is betting on its latest strong brew, Kingfisher Storm, to wean away customers from rival Carlsberg that has steadily gained 15% market share over the past five years, the Economic Times reported on April 27.

    Storm will directly compete with Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Strong, and the recently introduced Tuborg Classic. The product will be rolled out across India in the next 18 months. This is the most aggressive launch by UB in over eight years, said acompany official, requesting anonymity.

    “There is a movement toward a smoother drinking experience — typically falling between 5% and 7% alcohol content," he said.

    To ride out a prolonged slump in the beer industry that fell 2% in FY17, UB is banking on youngsters to spend more on a strong beer with a smooth taste.

    According to experts, India’s beer market has traditionally been driven by strong beer, which accounts for about 80% of the country’s overall sales volume of 300 million cases. This year, the beer industry is expected to expand 5-7%, paced by premium product launches and expansions, according to the country’s top breweries.

    UB, which has a market share of about 52%, will introduce a portfolio of imported beers and another strong beer brand by the end of the year. AB InBev’s imported labels such as Corona, Hoegaarden and Stella, which are limited to Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, will now be taken to more than a dozen markets across India.
     
    20.02.2017   India: Ban on liquor shops on highways could lead to 40% drop in sales of alcoholic beverages    ( E-malt.com )

    United Breweries Ltd (UBL), India’s largest beer maker and majority-owned by Dutch firm Heineken, has said that its sales of the alcoholic beverage could drop by 40 per cent once the Supreme Court ban on liquor shops on highways comes into effect in April, the Business Standard reported.

    The estimates were arrived at after mapping the liquor outlets and sales in these stores, executives of the company said on February 9.

    On December 15, the court, on a petition, ruled that states should cancel the licences of liquor shops in and around the national and state highways, citing increasing road accidents due to drink driving. The ban includes shutting down liquor shops located within 500 metres from highways.

    “We need to find out the specifics of the order. There are a lot of roads in India that run within the city and there are state highways. It is also said that there is a chance that the state highways are exempted,” said Steven Bosch, chief financial officer, UBL, on a conference call.

    Anil Pisharody, senior vice-president, finance, said the challenge was not the renewal of licences but to get a place to relocate.

    “The problem is more of logistics now. They need to relocate to areas nearby, which takes time,” said Pisharody.

    UB controls more than half of India’s annual beer sales of nearly 300 million cases. While it continues to grow the sales of popular brands such as Kingfisher beer, the company would look at expanding premium products from the Heineken portfolio into states outside Karnataka, its main market.

    The company on February 8 asked its non-executive chairman Vijay Mallya, currently in exile in the United Kingdom, to resign from the board.

    UB and liquor maker United Spirits Ltd were sold to foreign rivals Heineken and Diageo, respectively, after Mallya’s civil aviation business went under and put him in deep debt. He has been accused of being an absconder and the government has issued notices to the United Kingdom to extradite him.

    UB’s sales have dipped because of demonetisation even as the company faces bigger challenges in Maharashtra due to higher excise duties, and regulatory changes in Tamil Nadu.

    “We do not know the reason (for irregular orders in Tamil Nadu). We assume it is because of a series of events including the death of the chief minister or a push towards their local products,” said Bosch.

    UB’s primary volumes went down eight per cent in the current quarter, which, the company said, was an impact of demonetisation in November and December. The company said its worst month was December.
     
    23.08.2016   India: Carlsberg India managed to more than double its business during ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... Michael Jensen’s three-year leadership

    For 54-year-old Michael Jensen, who heads Carlsberg in India, it's not easy to sell products that mostly appeal to consumers half his age. Yet, in his three-year stint as the chief executive of the Danish brewer in India, he has managed to more than double the business to exceed Rs 1,000 crore in calendar year 2015, The Economic Times reported on August 19.

    "It's not difficult if you are little young at heart. But you want to remind yourself constantly that what I know might not be what other people want. So listen to consumers," said Jensen. So far, he has his ears to ground. For a man with an MSc in Marketing, Market Analysis and Consumer Behaviour and another in International Business, Trade, and Tax Law, that shouldn't be difficult, even if the country is as diverse as India.

    Unlike most other markets, where Carlsberg's top seller is the milder version of lager, Jensen has been focusing on brands such as Tuborg Strong and Elephant in India because strong beer accounts for 80% of country's overall sales volume of 300 million cases.

    His bet seems to be paying off — while the Copenhagen headquartered firm is still a fifth in size compared to Heineken-owned United Breweries in India, the company has managed to take its share to nearly 16% of the market from about 6% five years ago. And Tuborg is the largest premium international beer brand in the country.

    Carlsberg is the third largest player in India, trailing market leader United Breweries which has 51% share and SABMiller with 23% share of the market. But in a country that, for the past three years, have seen tipplers sobering up and market growth slowing to 5%, Carlsberg has been growing by more than 40% each year. The company attributed the growth to focus on key markets, especially cities, keeping its brand portfolio limited and expanding its manufacturing footprint.

    "We have doubled our reach to 40,000 outlets but have kept our focus on top 140 cities. By forgetting the rest, you can concentrate on offering coolers and use of signboards in a better way," said Jensen.

    The parent company in its long term strategy — Sail 22 — has identified China, India and Vietnam as key drivers for growth. This fuels Carlsberg’s aggressive expansion — it now has seven breweries on ground and 2 co-packers in India.

    The alcoholic beverages industry in India is heavily regulated, with excise and other taxes forming an important source of revenue for state governments. In states that collectively account for 70% of the industry's revenue, the government controls manufacturing, distribution, retailing and pricing of liquor. This makes it difficult for most companies to make higher profits.

    For instance, a 650 ml bottle of Carlsberg costs Rs 60 in the western coastal state of Goa but in West Bengal, it sells for Rs 130 and in Maharashtra, Goa's bigger neighbour, its retails at Rs 160. While the industry has been lobbying to sort the multiplicity of tax issues with the government, Jensen likes to deal with it in his own Danish way. "I grab a cold beer and put my feet up. The world suddenly becomes far better."
     
    29.02.2016   India: Strong beer helping Carlsberg ride out sluggish sales    ( E-Malt.com )

    Strong beer is helping Carlsberg ride out of sluggish beer sales in India. At a time when the overall Indian beer market is growing at about 5% a year, robust sales of brands like Tuborg and Elephant have helped the Danish brewer double its local business every two years, Brand Equity reported on February 9.

    Unlike most other markets, where Carlsberg's top seller is the milder version of the eponymous lager, the company's Indian unit has been focusing on brands such as Tuborg Strong and Elephant because strong beer accounts for 80% of country's overall sales volume of 300 million cases.

    "The growth can be attributed to the long-term strategy to focus on key markets, especially cities, focused brand portfolio, expanding manufacturing footprint, increased product availability and above all a strong team," said Michael Jensen, managing director, Carlsberg India, which reported a 54% increase in sales at . Rs 765 crore during FY15 with net loss of Rs 232 crore.

    However, despite the healthy sales numbers, innovations and aggressive product launches, Carlsberg's market share in India the world's third fastest growing beer market is one of its lowest globally. Tuborg, which was launched in the country as a premium brand in 2009, has now become the second largest strong brand.

    Carlsberg is the third largest player in India with 15% share, trailing market leader United Breweries, which is controlled by Heineken, which has 51% share, and SABMiller which has 23% share.

    "Most of the premium brands have done well in the last few years. Carlsberg seems to have taken share mainly from SABMiller and some fringe players since United Breweries has been consistent in maintaining its share," said Abneesh Roy, associate director at Edelweiss Capital.

    SABMiller, the maker of Haywards and Knock Out beer, clocked 1% growth in net sales at Rs 1,940 crore, and a net loss of . Rs 127 crore in 2014-15. UB, which sells Kingfisher beer, grew 11% at RS 4,692 crore in net revenue and profit of Rs 260 crore.

    The alcoholic beverages industry in India is heavily regulated, with excise and other taxes forming an important source of revenue for state governments. In states that collectively account for 70% of the industry's revenue, the government controls manufacturing, distribution, retailing and pricing of liquor.

    This makes it difficult for most companies to make higher profits. In fact, SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, has written down $313 million (Rs 2,000 crore) of its investment in India last year, citing increasing regulatory and excise challenges.

    But Carlsberg is hopeful to be out of the red despite increasing its investment the company's seventh plant became operational last fiscal in Bihar and its existing plant in Haryana undertook capacity expansion.
     
    07.10.2015   India: Vijay Mallya says beer should be treated as non-alcoholic beverage    ( E-malt.com )

    Beer should be treated as a non-alcoholic beverage to boost its consumption across the country, United Breweries Ltd chairman Vijay Mallya was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald on September 22.

    "As beer has only five percent alcohol unlike 40 percent in hard liquor or spirits, it is irrational to charge the same prohibitive tax on both the beverages," Mallya told shareholders at the company's 16th AGM here.

    Noting that the per capita consumption of beer in India was two litres as against 27 litres globally, Mallya said, as a result, beer contributed five percent to the total alcohol consumed across the country, with 280 million cases sold in 2015 as against 100 million cases in 2005.

    As a leader in the low-alcoholic beverage, UBL has 52 percent market share in the country, with its nearest rival having less than half of its share.

    Seeking a rational regulatory and taxation policy on beer, the liquor baron said unlike in India, beer was the preferred beverage of choice in most of the world, especially for young consumers and ranked third among all beverages after water and tea.

    "Decades of perverse taxation policy that equates spirits and beer had resulted in beer being prohibitively expensive as a share of the consumer's wallet. There is an urgent need for a rational regulatory and taxation policy for long-term benefits to all the stakeholders," said Mallya.

    Noting that the irrational taxation policy was driving youngsters to prefer hard liquor with attendant moral and social consequences in preference to beer, he said the industry could reach an inflexion point and grow rapidly if tax on beer was in proportion to the alcoholic strength, which is five percent.

    Welcoming the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) across the country, Mallya, however, said excluding the liquor industry from it would lead to imposition of punitive costs on its players.
     
    27.07.2015   Asia: Thailand moves further in countering growing demand for alcohol    ( E-Malt.com )

    Thailand will ban alcohol sales near universities and technical colleges, putting the nation at the forefront of efforts in Asia to curb consumption, Bloomberg reported on July 23.

    Under amendments to the Alcohol Control Act endorsed by the government on July 22 and to be implemented nationwide late next month, bars, clubs and retailers will be prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages within a 300-meter (328 yards) radius of colleges. The measures are aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and tackling alcohol-related problems, including underage sex, the Ministry of Public Health said.

    Thailand is moving further than other governments in countering growing demand for alcohol in Asia and the Pacific, the fastest-growing beer market for brewer Heineken NV. The World Health Organization has called for a 10 percent reduction in the harmful use of alcohol by 2025 from 2010 levels, implicating it in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions that the UN agency says kill about 3.3 million people a year.

    “Thailand has the strongest tradition of trying to curb alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol-related harms,” said Juergen Rehm, professor and chair of addiction policy at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

    Thailand’s government has a taxation mechanism that “enables them to tax the hell out of any beverage which is attractive to youth,” said Rehm, who has worked with Thai authorities on alcohol programs for the past decade.

    Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, China and some states of India have also introduced policies over the past few years to sap alcohol demand. Beer sales in Vietnam have been climbing at at least double the pace of gross domestic product growth the past five years and have averaged 6.2 percent annually across the region since 2009, according to Euromonitor International.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s largest brewer, opened a brewery near Ho Chi Minh City in May, bolstering its supplies of Budweiser and Beck’s beer.

    “Asia Pacific is now the third largest zone of AB InBev in terms of volume, and Vietnam is considered the next turning point for us in Southeast Asia,” said Michel Doukeris, the Belgian brewer’s Asia-Pacific president, at an opening ceremony. The plant will eventually produce as much as 1 million hectolitres a year of the amber liquid.

    Asia-Pacific will contribute more than 70 percent of global beer growth in the next five years, Heineken’s regional president, Roland Pirmez, told a conference in March 2014, citing Canadean projections.

    Per-capital alcohol consumption averaged 29 litres in the region in 2013, compared with 59 litres in Europe and 48 litres in the rest of the world, presenting “untapped growth potential,” Pirmez said. The Amsterdam-based company increased its stake in United Breweries Ltd., India’s biggest beermaker, to 42.1 percent on July 7, less than a week before opening a $60 million brewery near Yangon.

    Myanmar has no national policy or action plan to tackle alcohol and there is no legal requirement that alcohol advertisements and containers carry health warnings, the WHO said in its 2014 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. Worldwide, more than a dozen countries had no legal minimum age for the consumption of alcohol.

    “This task of creating or strengthening a regulatory framework for alcohol turns out to be a task that countries ignore to their economic peril,” said David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. The school was renamed in 2001 in honor of Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg, a major donor. “Alcohol can be a serious risk not just to health, but to development given that in much of the world it’s the leading cause of death and disability for people ages 15 to 49.”

    Thailand recognized this years ago and is now considered a “model worldwide” for its ability to combine research and community mobilization to “strengthen the national public health voice,” Jernigan said in an interview.

    Even still, the sales restrictions announced on July 22 may do little to stop people from enjoying a tipple if they really want one, and may have a “limited” impact on sales volumes, said Philip Gorham, an equities analyst with Morningstar Inc. in Amsterdam. Under existing regulations, retailers are also prohibited from selling alcohol between midnight and 11 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

    “I see them essentially as PR stunts by governments attempting to appear to be doing something good for public health,” Gorham said in an e-mail. “The broader point, however, is that developing markets are catching up on the regulatory front, or at least making efforts to.”

    Taxation on alcohol has been used effectively in developed markets to limit consumption and “disruptive tax increases would be a risk to emerging market volumes,” Gorham added.

    After growing steadily for about 25 years, alcohol consumption plateaued in Thailand after the 2008 release of a national policy on alcohol that helped persuade more than two-thirds of Thais to abstain from booze, WHO data show.

    The Philippines introduced a so-called sin tax on cigarettes and alcohol in 2012 that’s increased the price of a litre of premium beer by 22 pesos (50 cents).

    India’s Kerala state in August enacted a law that would put it on the path to almost-complete prohibition in 10 years, the Press Trust of India reported in August. In mandates that only luxury hotels can sell liquor, and the number of state-run liquor and beer outlets will be cut by 10 percent a year. At least 400 bars attached to smaller hotels have already been shut after being denied licenses, and 300 may close soon.

    The regulatory and tax challenges in India are increasing, Gilles Bogaert, chief financial officer of Pernod Ricard SA, told analysts on a conference call in February. “The Indian market is not easy from a regulation and tax standpoint,” he said.

    Alcohol laws are becoming “more stringent” worldwide, said Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst with Euromonitor International, who sees the biggest risk for beverage companies coming from any further reduction in consumption in mature markets, where sales are flagging.

    “Any additional measures to cut down consumption will perhaps have a much bigger effect than in emerging markets, which are anyway moving in a more-or-less positive direction, as middle classes are advancing and consumers are trying to emulate Western drinking habits,” Malandrakis said.
     
    22.04.2015   Spain & India: Mahou-San Miguel to invest nearly Rs 120 crore in Indian business    ( E-Malt.com )

    Spain's largest brewer Mahou-San Miguel plans to invest nearly Rs 120 crore in India to market its eponymous brand along with local beer Dare Devil in an effort to make the country one of its largest markets globally, The Economic Times reported on April 17.

    The company, which controls more than a third of Spanish beer market, entered India three years ago by acquiring 50 per cent stake in Arian Breweries. Last year, it acquired the remaining stake to set up its first subsidiary and distillery outside Spain.

    "Once we started looking at our global expansion plans, India became an important factor," said Erik D'Auchamp, chief executive officer at Mahou India.

    For Mahou-San Miguel, international markets contribute nearly 13 per cent to its annual revenues of 1.2 billion, or about Rs 7,950 crore. D'Auchamp said the company aims to scale that up to 20 per cent in the next five years. "India is a really an important part of that plan," he said. After a heady double-digit growth last decade, beer sales in India grew less than 3 per cent last fiscal, similar to several other consumer goods segments as shoppers cut back on discretionary spending.

    Yet, several companies are investing on aggressive product launches and packaging innovations. For instance, SABMiller launched Miller Ace and UB launched Heineken beer in cans.

    Since strong beer comprises 80 per cent of the Indian beer market, companies are taking super premium strong beer to more consumers.

    Both the existing brands of Mahou-San Miguel are in the strong segment. "We are also looking at launching lighter brand Mahou Clasica, super premium beer brand Alhambra and even spring water from our global portfolio over time," D'Auchamp said.

    Most global brewers are looking to boost their presence in fast-growing emerging markets such as India. Asia, which accounts for 35 per cent of global beer consumption, is the largest regional beer market.

    "In the next five years, it is estimated that Indian beer market will be 35 million cases, bigger than the Spanish market by then. So there is room for existing players and also for newcomers," D'Auchamp said.
     
    03.03.2015   India: Hoegaarden back in India’s market thanks to complying with food ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... regulator’s labelling norms

    Months after many imported beers, including Hoegaarden, disappeared from shops because of stricter enforcement of labelling rules, the Belgian beer is back in the market after the company’s local partner complied with the Indian food regulator’s norms, Livemint reported on February 12.

    Gurgaon-based RJ Corp. (Ravi Jaipuria), the local partner of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, adhered to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI’s) norms that require importers to clearly state all ingredients of a beverage to be printed on the bottle label.

    “We have adapted labels where it was needed,” said Chris White, president and group chief executive officer of Gurgaon-based RJ Corp. “Our company always complies with local laws.”

    “We will be bringing in greater quantities in 2015 to satisfy demand,” added White.

    AB InBev also sells brands such as Budweiser—locally bottled in India, apart from importing beers such as Leffe, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois into the country.

    Trouble for food and beverage importers started in 2014 after FSSAI tightened labelling norms on products.

    According to the new norms, companies must list on the label all the ingredients used in the product in the form of imprints and not stickers. As a result of the new guideline, many imported foods and beverage items, including beers such as Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Corona and Victoria Bitter, were withdrawn from the market.

    Business at local breweries and bars across top metros suffered as imported beers were unavailable.

    “Stocks are back in the market in a sporadic manner,” said Rahul Singh, founder and chief executive of The Beer Café that runs close to 20 outlets in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Mohali and Amritsar.

    Demand for the Belgian beer, he adds, remained pent up, with consumers showing loyalty to the brand almost immediately, “we are seeing a very positive shelf take-off for the brand since it returned to the market.”

    Lack of stock, for over six months, led local pubs and breweries to turn to locally brewed imported style beer in the country to supplement demand for such brands that have found a niche in India’s domestic beer market dominated largely by United Breweries Ltd and SABMiller India.

    More urban, high-income groups have taken to more expensive imported beers over the past few years. The retail price of 330ml Hoegaarden is Rs.210.

    “Popularity of these brands is unprecedented,” added Singh.

    To be sure, the draught variant of the beer, however, still remains unavailable in the market.

    Retailers also have no clarity on when brands such as Stella Artois will be made available.

    The supply remains erratic, said Singh, adding that, even though the stock is back, it’s not easily available because of pent-up demand.

    Liquor companies are swiftly adhering to newer labelling norms, even as they continue to engage with the FSSAI for more simplified labelling regulations.

    “The goals of FSSAI are good ones, and we continue to work with the government as an industry body to make the process of compliance easier for members,” added White, also chairman of All India Brewers Association.
     
    26.02.2015   India: Hoegaarden back in India’s market thanks to complying with food ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... regulator’s labelling norms

    Months after many imported beers, including Hoegaarden, disappeared from shops because of stricter enforcement of labelling rules, the Belgian beer is back in the market after the company’s local partner complied with the Indian food regulator’s norms, Livemint reported on February 12.

    Gurgaon-based RJ Corp. (Ravi Jaipuria), the local partner of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, adhered to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI’s) norms that require importers to clearly state all ingredients of a beverage to be printed on the bottle label.

    “We have adapted labels where it was needed,” said Chris White, president and group chief executive officer of Gurgaon-based RJ Corp. “Our company always complies with local laws.”

    “We will be bringing in greater quantities in 2015 to satisfy demand,” added White.

    AB InBev also sells brands such as Budweiser—locally bottled in India, apart from importing beers such as Leffe, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois into the country.

    Trouble for food and beverage importers started in 2014 after FSSAI tightened labelling norms on products.

    According to the new norms, companies must list on the label all the ingredients used in the product in the form of imprints and not stickers. As a result of the new guideline, many imported foods and beverage items, including beers such as Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Corona and Victoria Bitter, were withdrawn from the market.

    Business at local breweries and bars across top metros suffered as imported beers were unavailable.

    “Stocks are back in the market in a sporadic manner,” said Rahul Singh, founder and chief executive of The Beer Café that runs close to 20 outlets in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Mohali and Amritsar.

    Demand for the Belgian beer, he adds, remained pent up, with consumers showing loyalty to the brand almost immediately, “we are seeing a very positive shelf take-off for the brand since it returned to the market.”

    Lack of stock, for over six months, led local pubs and breweries to turn to locally brewed imported style beer in the country to supplement demand for such brands that have found a niche in India’s domestic beer market dominated largely by United Breweries Ltd and SABMiller India.

    More urban, high-income groups have taken to more expensive imported beers over the past few years. The retail price of 330ml Hoegaarden is Rs.210.

    “Popularity of these brands is unprecedented,” added Singh.

    To be sure, the draught variant of the beer, however, still remains unavailable in the market.

    Retailers also have no clarity on when brands such as Stella Artois will be made available.

    The supply remains erratic, said Singh, adding that, even though the stock is back, it’s not easily available because of pent-up demand.

    Liquor companies are swiftly adhering to newer labelling norms, even as they continue to engage with the FSSAI for more simplified labelling regulations.

    “The goals of FSSAI are good ones, and we continue to work with the government as an industry body to make the process of compliance easier for members,” added White, also chairman of All India Brewers Association.
     
    17.06.2013   India: Kingfisher Ultra to expand its presence in the super-premium mild beer ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... segment of the Indian market

    After dominating the strong beer segment with an absolute majority, United Breweries Limited (UBL), which owns the 'Kingfisher' brand of beer, is now actively stepping on the gas to expand its presence in the super-premium mild beer segment which is dominated by global brands such as Carlsberg and Budweiser in India, Business Standard reported on June, 10.

    UBL, which had launched 'Kingfisher Ultra' during 2009, has been aggressively growing this franchise and according to UBL joint president Shekhar Ramamurthy, the volumes are increasing rapidly. "The Indian consumer has also changed in his demands and with the increase in disposable incomes, is showing keenness to upgrade in everything he uses. He is ready to pay a premium for the best and demands the best," Ramamurthy added. The super-premium beer segment starts at a price point of Rs 110 a bottle and goes on up to as much as Rs 180 a 650-ml bottle.

    With respect to the size of the market segments, the Super Premium Segment comprised of 3.1 per cent of industry volume of 270 mln nine-litre cases and accounts for 4.2 per cent of industry value in 2012. Volumes in this segment grew by 62 per cent in 2012 over 2011. According to market information, UBL's 'Kingfisher Ultra' is expected to cross the 1 mln cases mark, inching closer to Carlsberg volumes.

    Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President-Marketing, United Breweries Limited, added that they are seeing growth in all the 19 markets in India in which they are present and over the next year they will be entering new markets to expand volumes and are hoping at an aggressive double-digit growth going forward.

    A Carlsberg India spokesperson speaking on the fast-emerging 'Kingfisher Ultra' said that they believe competition is healthy for the overall growth of any industry. "It helps in raising the bar and increasing industry standards, directing the players to match high quality performance benchmarks. And, this stands true to the beer industry as well. The Indian consumer today is rapidly premiumising and players present in the super premium segment or entering the segment give more options to the consumers thereby leading to the overall growth of the ecosystem. We, at Carlsberg India, are well-poised with our plans to capitalise the growth," Carlsberg India official added.

    While United Breweries is present across the value chain in the beer segment, Carlsberg too has been making healthy progress in its portfolio approach.

    "We have brands across price points and also market segments and categories. With Carlsberg Elephant we have created the super premium strong segment, and this is the fastest growing segment in the market today. Brand Tuborg is the No. 1 International beer brand and the No. 4 beer brand in the country with over 60 per cent growth in 2012 over 2011 and has emerged one of the fastest-growing brands in the Indian beer market today. Tuborg Strong is the fastest growing brand (in share gains) with a 100 per cent growth in 2012. We have a number of exciting plans in 2013 to further enhance Carlsberg's strong presence in these segments," the Carlsberg India spokesperson added.
    their laurels", Gatz said.
     
    20.11.2012   Diageo, UBHL and USL announce that Diageo will take a shareholding in USL, the leading Indian ...    ( Company news )

    ... spirits company

    Diageo will now launch a Mandatory Tender Offer to the public shareholders of USL

    Diageo plc, United Breweries (Holdings) Limited and United Spirits Limited have announced agreements under which Diageo would acquire a 27.4% stake in USL, the leading spirits company in India. The consideration will be INR 1440 per share and the total consideration would be INR 57,254 million (approximately £660 million). Following completion of these agreements, Dr Vijay Mallya will continue in his current role as Chairman of USL, and UBHL and Dr Mallya will work with Diageo to build the USL business as the current consumer trends for premiumisation accelerate in India. The agreements are in two parts:

    - An agreement to acquire a 19.3% interest in the current share capital of USL at a price of INR 1440 per share from the UBHL group, the USL Benefit Trust, Palmer Investment Group Limited and UB Sports Management (two subsidiaries of USL) and SWEW Benefit Company (a company established for the benefit of certain USL employees). Following this disposal, the UBHL group would continue to have a shareholding in USL amounting to 14.9% of current share capital.

    - The shareholders of USL will be asked to approve the preferential allotment to Diageo at a price of INR 1440 per share of new shares amounting to 10% of the post-issue enlarged share capital of USL.

    These agreements trigger an obligation on Diageo to launch a Mandatory Tender Offer to the public shareholders of USL. Diageo has therefore also announced that it will launch a tender offer to acquire, at a price of INR 1440 per share, a maximum of 37,785,214 shares, which equates to 26% of the enlarged share capital of USL.
    On completion of the share purchases as described above and in the event that the tender offer were fully subscribed, Diageo will hold 53.4% of the enlarged USL share capital at an aggregate cost of INR 111,665 million (approximately £1,285 million). This represents a 20x multiple of USL’s EBITDA for the year ended 31 March 2012 and the transaction would be eps accretive in year 2 and economic profit positive in year 6 assuming a 12 % WACC.
    Diageo and Dr Mallya have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which they will form a 50:50 joint venture which will own United National Breweries’ traditional sorghum beer business in South Africa. Diageo’s investment for its 50% interest in the joint venture is expected to be approximately USD 36 million (approximately £25 million), subject to adjustment. Diageo and Dr Mallya are also considering the possibility of extending this joint venture in order to maximise opportunities which exist in certain emerging markets in Africa and Asia (excluding India).

    Paul S Walsh, Chief Executive of Diageo, said:
    ‘I am delighted at the opportunity Diageo has to be part of India’s large and growing local spirits market. As a result of the agreements we are announcing today we will be well positioned to take the growth opportunities presented by a spirits market where growth is driven by the increasing number of middle class consumers. USL’s number 1 position in local spirits together with our growing international spirits business of leading brands will enable us to grow across the consumer space as India’s increasing number of middle class consumers look to enjoy premium and prestige local spirits brands as income levels rise. The combination of USL’s strong business with the capabilities which Diageo brings as the world’s leading premium drinks company will ensure that USL continues to lead the industry in India.
    Vijay Mallya’s experience in building USL to the leadership position it has is unique in our industry and in his position, as Chairman of USL, I look forward to working with him to deliver value for the shareholders of both USL and Diageo.
    The acquisition of our shareholding in USL is fully aligned with our strategy to build our presence in the world’s faster growing markets and enhances our position as the world’s leading premium drinks company.’

    Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the UB Group, said;
    'I am very proud of USL and what has been created over the last 30 years to bring this company to its pre-eminent position in India. I have had a long association with Diageo and therefore I am confident that this winning partnership with Diageo provides USL with the best possible platform for future growth. I am delighted to remain part of that journey as Chairman of USL as we work together to build continued value for the shareholders of USL and UBHL.'

    The key points of the agreements between Diageo, UBHL and USL are:
    - Completion of the acquisition of shares from the UBHL group, the USL Benefit Trust, Palmer Investment Group Limited and UB Sports Management (two subsidiaries of USL) and SWEW Benefit Company (a company established for the benefit of certain USL employees) is subject to a number of conditions. These conditions include the release of all security interests over the USL shares to be acquired by Diageo. They also include the receipt of mandatory regulatory approvals (including competition approvals) in India and elsewhere.

    - Diageo has reached agreement with USL under which the shareholders of USL will be asked to approve (by special resolution) the preferential allotment of new shares to Diageo, at a price of INR 1440 per share. The price is subject to applicable pricing rules under Indian regulations. These new shares will amount to 10% of USL’s post-allotment enlarged share capital. UBHL will vote in favour of the resolution. The preferential allotment is subject to certain conditions including USL shareholder approval and if successful, combined with the above acquisition of shares, would result in Diageo owning 27.4% of the enlarged share capital of USL.

    - The preferential allotment and the acquisition of shares from the USL subsidiaries will enhance USL’s financial strength, including a reduction in USL’s net debt.

    - Total consideration for the aggregate shareholding, representing 27.4% of the enlarged USL share capital, acquired through the arrangements for the acquisition and the preferential allotment described above would therefore be INR 57,254 million (approximately £660 million).

    - The combination of the acquisition and the preferential allotment trigger an obligation on Diageo to launch a mandatory tender offer for a minimum of 26% of the issued share capital of USL. Diageo will launch a tender offer to acquire a maximum additional interest in USL of no more than 26% of the enlarged USL share capital. The tender offer will be at a price of INR 1440 per share, representing a premium of over 35% to the closing price of USL’s shares on 24 September 2012, the last business day before the announcement that Diageo, UBHL and USL were in discussions regarding possible transactions. At that price, the total consideration under the tender offer (assuming full take-up) would be INR 54,411 million (approximately £625 million).

    - Following the formal documentation review process of SEBI, the Indian takeover regulator, Diageo will post the tender offer documentation to USL shareholders. Completion of the acquisition and tender offer is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2013.

    - Diageo will fund the acquisition through existing cash resources and debt. Diageo believes that its financial strength supports its current single A credit rating and will hold discussions with the rating agencies as a consequence of this announcement.

    - In certain circumstances where the preferential allotment is not successful (including where it is not approved by the shareholders of USL), UBHL has agreed to sell additional shares in USL to Diageo at a price of INR 1440 per share to ensure that Diageo has a minimum shareholding of 25.1%.

    - In addition, if the share purchase agreement, the preferential allotment and the tender offer do not result in Diageo holding a majority interest in USL, UBHL has agreed to vote its remaining shareholding in USL as directed by Diageo for a four year period. UBHL will also vote its USL shares to enable Diageo to ensure that its nominees are appointed to the USL board.

    - In the event that Diageo does not acquire a majority interest it is likely that a minimum shareholding of 25.1%, together with the voting arrangements and other governance arrangements agreed with the UBHL group and its relationship with Dr Mallya as Chairman of USL, would enable Diageo to reflect the results of USL in its consolidated accounts.

    - The tender offer will be governed by the applicable takeover regulations of India and is subject to certain conditions.

    JM Financial acted as lead transaction and financial adviser to Diageo on the transaction; BofA Merrill Lynch acted as joint financial adviser; UBS also provided financial advice to Diageo.
    Slaughter and May and Platinum Partners acted as legal advisers to Diageo. Deloitte LLP provided Financial and Tax due diligence services.

    For UBHL & USL:
    Citigroup Global Markets acted as lead financial adviser; Ambit Corporate Finance advised UBHL on tax and structure-related issues.
    Amarchand and Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. acted as lead legal adviser.
    Legal adviser on matters of English Law - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP;
    Legal adviser for legal due diligence process - Kanga & Co.
    (Diageo plc)
     
    02.07.2012   India: Heineken eyes 5 per cent market share of the premium mild beer market    ( E-malt.com )

    Heineken, a globally renowned beer brand, ever since its India launch September last year, has been pursuing aggressive marketing activation campaigns to replicate its global success there, Pitch On Net reported on June, 25.
    The Dutch- born beer, positioned as a super-premium lager beer was brought to India by United Breweries, owner of the popular Kingfisher brand of beer. Brewed and bottled in India, this premium beer is looking to cement its position among the high-end, sophisticated beer lovers by differentiating itself on account of its taste and quality. According to the brand, there is not much competition in the space they operate in India, but the business is coming in from other imported and foreign brands and from consumers who wish to upgrade to premium beer.
    Across the world, Heineken connects with consumers through marketing activation campaigns based on its global sport, music, and film platforms. According to Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President (Marketing), United Breweries, the same global marketing properties are being applied in India with specific Indianised content and relevance.
    The aggressive marketing initiatives pursued by Heineken, and for that matter several other beer brands gives a sense of the underlying growth potential in the Indian beer industry. According to a report titled ‘Indian Alcoholic Beverages Market Outlook to 2015’ by AM Mindpower Solutions, a market research company, beer is the third largest market and the second fastest growing market in the Indian alcoholic beverages industry, next only to wine.
    According to Sheikhawat, among the different regions that Heineken has a presence in, Delhi and Calcutta are its best markets. He attributes this performance to the right consumer profile in Delhi and Calcutta’s openness towards new beer brands.
    The brand also benefits from the large distribution network of United Breweries and plans to focus on the top 10-12 markets in India at present. It is eyeing a market share of 5 per cent of the premium mild beer market in India.

     
    29.05.2012   India & Pakistan: Pakistani Murree Brewery to start shortly selling its beer in India    ( E-Malt.com )

    Amid rising hopes for an unprecedented opening up of trade between south Asia's two nuclear rivals, Indian drinkers are soon to enjoy Pakistani beer for the first time since the two countries gained independence, The Guardian reported on May, 24.

    Murree Brewery, a Raj-era oddity in an increasingly conservative Islamic country, says it will shortly start selling its lager in India, the historic market it lost access to when the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947.

    The joint venture with an Indian beer maker represents a remarkable step as the countries try to overcome decades of hostility to increase the tiny amount of trade that trickles across their border.

    "This is a huge opportunity for us, given the size of the Indian market," said Sabih-ur-Rehman, a former major who helps run the brewery and dreams of Murree beer becoming as internationally recognised as other Asian brands – such as Kingfisher (India), San Miguel (Philippines) and Singha (Thailand).

    Despite the common history shared by the two billion people of Pakistan and India, business between the countries is pitiful. In 2009, only 1% of India's total trade was with Pakistan, which itself only sold 1.7% of its exports to its neighbour.

    Pakistan's leaders believe trade could help to revive the country's failing economy, though it remains unpopular with some religious parties.

    Optimists even claim better economic ties could ultimately help the two overcome their entrenched disputes over issues such as the control of Kashmir and the future of Afghanistan.

    "Improvement in trade will mean greater interaction across the borders and great interaction inevitably leads to greater understanding," said Kamran Mirza, head of the Pakistan Business Council.

    Theoretically, Murree Brewery has much to gain from trade liberalisation. Indians drank about 2 bln litres of beer last year and the market is growing as an increasingly affluent middle-class looks for unusual beer brands.

    In Pakistan, people ordering beer via room service in smart hotels have to sign a form declaring it is "for medicinal use only". Officially, only Christian and Hindu Pakistanis (about 3% of the population) are legally allowed to drink.

    The Pakistani government has recently scrapped a ban on exporting alcohol, but Murree's lager will, for the time being, be brewed under licence in India.

    The joint venture with an Indian brewery comes as India also announced that it would lift its longstanding ban on direct foreign investment from Pakistan.

    "The Indians are going to really take to this," said Sabih-ur-Rehman. "We are one of the most historic brands in the world and they still remember us in India."

    Murree still makes its beer in one of the company's original 19th-century breweries in Rawalpindi, just a stone's throw from the headquarters of the country's powerful army chief. When Pervez Musharraf was in power, regular boxloads of Murree lager would be dropped off for the general.

    The company, which also sells soft drinks and processed food, was founded in 1860 and was part of a network of breweries across the subcontinent established to satisfy the parched throats of the soldiers of the British Raj.

    In the 1970s, the hard line rule of Zia ul-Haq saw Murree closed down for two years.

    Nonetheless, the company, which is listed on the Karachi stock exchange, remains one of the country's biggest enterprises. It is also making its second concerted effort to break into the UK market with lager brewed under licence in the Czech Republic.

    Murree has a proud history of punning slogans. In the nineteenth-century it used the catchline "Eat, drink and be Murree." Its latest foray into Britain is being promoted with the appeal to "Have a Murree with your curry."
     
    15.05.2012   India: United Breweries to introduce Kingfisher Ultra in five more states in the next six months    ( E-Malt.com )

    United Breweries is looking at marking the Kingfisher Ultra brand's pan India presence by introducing it in five other states, in the next six months, Financial Chronicle reported on May, 8.

    “Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam are the states that we would expand to,” said Gurpreet Singh, general manager-marketing, United Breweries. The brand has a national market share of 55 per cent now.

    Last financial year, the company saw a 20 per cent growth at 35 million cases in Andhra Pradesh. “In fact, the previous financial year there had been a double-digit growth in the beer industry,” he said.

    The Vijay Mallya-promoted company launched Kingfisher Ultra at Hyderabad on May, 8. “Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of beer consumers, which is why this is an important market for us. We hope our market here to increase by ten per cent. Last few years, we have been witnessing 50 per cent growth in the state,” he said.

    However, the spirits company had to face hurdles to enter this market, which was three years after their first launch of the brand Kingfisher Ultra in 2009. This is mainly due to the evolving state based policies and the delayed process of obtaining licences, the officials said.

    “The slowdown could be because of the higher taxes and other restriction from state policies. But in the coming year we hope the beer industry would come back to its double-digit growth,” Singh said.
     
    03.01.2012   India: United Breweries targets 10% share of premium mild beer segment in two-three years    ( E-Malt.com )

    Vijay Mallya-owned United Breweries, India’s largest brewer, is betting big on Heineken, the super-premium lager beer. Well on track to achieve its debut targets, Heineken aims to gain 10 per cent market share in the premium mild beer segment over the next two to three years, Financial Chronicle reported on December, 19.

    The iconic global beer brand from the Dutch beer maker, which has so far been launched in seven Indian markets including Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Bangalore, Kolkata, will be made available across India in the next 18 months, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, senior vice-president (marketing), United Breweries, said.

    The beer market in India is projected to be 240 million cases, of which 9-10 per cent is canned beer. According to a recent market research, beer sales in India are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2011. Sheikhawat said the beer market has been growing at a CAGR of 15 per cent for the past five years.

    With the Indian beer industry seeing steady growth over the past decade, due to strong economic growth resulting in high disposable incomes, an increase in beer sales is expected in the next two or three years. In addition to the increase in sales, the number of brands is also expected to increase, with existing players expanding their ranges, and new players setting up production facilities.

    Globally Heineken connects with consumers through marketing activation campaigns on four platforms sports, music and film platforms including UEFA Champions League Football, Rugby World Cup and James Bond’s movies. “In India also, we are gearing up to get connected to our consumers through various brand building exercises. We are looking at various innovative events of Heineken Bar-B-Que Nites, Heineken Tonite at premium pubs, bars, lounges, restaurants and upmarket retail outlets to drive awareness and trial. We will leverage the brand’s global proposition, ‘Open Your World’ across all marketing executions,” said Sheikhawat.

    It is also in the process of getting associated with the next James Bond movie as and when it is released in India. FM Radio is the other medium, UB is aggressively tapping through syndicated programmes to connect with Heineken consumers, he said.
     
    14.11.2011   India: United Breweries to expand two of its premium brands to new markets    ( E-Malt.com )

    United Breweries, India's largest beer and liquor major, said it would soon expand its presence in new markets with its premier brands Kingfisher Ultra and Kingfisher Red, IBNLive reported on October, 30.

    "The Kingfisher Ultra, which is our super premium mild beer brand, will be extended. It is currently available in 11-12 markets and we will be expanding it to 15-20 markets," UB Group Vice-President for Sales & Marketing Samar Singh Shekhawat said.

    "The Kingfisher Red, a premium strong beer brand, is currently available in the North and the East. In the next 12 months we will see both the West and the South getting covered," he said.

    The company recently launched locally brewed and bottled global beer brand Heineken from its brewery at Taloja, near here, Shekhawat said. Heineken and the UB Group had inked an agreement in 2008 and started selling the imported beer in the country a year ago. The product is at present available in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Banaglore, Kolkata and Goa. The locally brewed Heineken will be available in about 15 cities in the next two years.

    The domestic beer market is 230 million cases per annum, of which 80 percent is strong beer and the rest is mild super-premium category, it is estimated.

    "Of all the premium mild beer market, where Heineken is available, it has got 4 to 5 percent market share in the premium mild beer market," Shekhawat said.
     
    22.09.2011   India: United Breweries embarks on major expansion drive for Heineken    ( E-Malt.com )

    United Breweries is embarking on a major expansion drive for Dutch partner Heineken's beer brand in India, with plans to enter about 20 new domestic markets in the next two years, The Economic Times reported on September, 13.

    The company, which signed an agreement in 2009 with Netherlands-based Heineken Group for manufacturing and distribution of Heineken beer in India, also said it expects the brand to secure a 5 per cent market share in the premium mild segment in these markets.

    "In the next two years, we expect Heineken to be in around 15-20 markets in India," United Breweries Ltd Senior Vice-President (Marketing) Samar Singh Sheikhawat said.
     
    29.08.2011   India: Carlsberg focuses on strong beers to grow bigger in India    ( E-Malt.com )

    Four years after it entered the country, Danish brewer Carlsberg has now swung its focus around to stronger brews to firm up its foothold in India even as competition heats up for its flagship brand, Financial Express reported on August, 20.

    It is betting on the recently launched Carlsberg Elephant and last year’s entrant Tuborg Strong to win market share in a country where nearly 80% of the roughly 225 million cases (of 9 litres each) sold a year is strong beer, or beer with alcohol content of more than 5%. Both the products are priced higher than India’s top selling Kingfisher Strong from United Breweries (UBL), Haywards 5000 and Knockout from SABMiller India.

    Earlier this year, Carlsberg also relaunched its Okocim Palone strong beer as Palone 8 priced at par with other beers.

    “Two years ago, we were a company that was focusing quite a lot on the mild beer category with Carlsberg and Tuborg. If we want to grow bigger, we will have to be more active in the strong beer segment,” said Soren Lauridsen, MD, Carlsberg India.

    The new focus has helped achieve a 55% growth in volumes between January and June 2011 compared with the same period last year and market share by volume has increased to 6% from 4% last year excluding Tamil Nadu, said Lauridsen. He added that the company would now focus on building the brands having completed its portfolio with the new launches.

    Carlsberg does not share its sales volumes or revenue by region, but data from Euromonitor International, the London-based market research company, shows that it sold 52 million litres in 2010, up from 3.5 million litres in 2007 when it had just one brewery in Himachal Pradesh.

    Over the past three years, it has added four more breweries in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal and the latest one at Hyderabad which opened in December.

    The company’s flagship brand, Carlsberg Green, still faces competition in the super-premium segment from the locally-brewed Heineken beer launched by UBL in Maharashtra during the last quarter. UBL, India’s largest brewer with market share of over 50%, plans to roll out Heineken into Bangalore, Delhi and other metros.

    “We are already the No. 3 player in the market and our plans are on track to achieve our ambition of being the fastest growing beer company in India,” said Lauridsen. The Hyderabad brewery, coupled with a strengthened sales team, has helped increase market share in Andhra Pradesh, one of India’s largest markets for strong beer, to 4% from 1% last year, he said.

    “We are in the process of considering some expansions and we are also looking at setting up more greenfield breweries. That depends on how our volume develops,” said Lauridsen.
     
    15.08.2011   India: Mild beer market now growing after being flat for about 3 years – United Breweries vice ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... president of marketing

    Eighty percent of India’s beer market is strong beer but the mild beer market has now started growing in the last 1 and a half to 2 years after being flat for about 3 years, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, vice president of marketing at United Breweries Ltd., was quoted as saying by Bloomberg on August, 11.
    At the top end of this market a significant crust is forming - the super-premium, mild beer market - which today consists of Kingfisher Ultra, Carlsberg, imported beers and now Heineken. If you put all that together, this year it will be about two million to three million cases, Sheikhawat said while commenting on the launch of locally brewed Heineken in India.
    “I would estimate that the rate of growth of this market is about 30 percent to 40 percent year-on-year. While it’s a small market in absolute size, the rate of growth is high."
    “There’s a large youth population that is obviously the target for beer. It is getting socially acceptable to drink, especially beer."
    “When we were going to launch Kingfisher Ultra two years ago, we used to wonder who would buy a 100-rupee ($2.2) beer. But today, Kingfisher or the mainstream beers are close to 90 or 95 rupees. What was considered a barrier for beer doesn’t exist anymore. People are willing to pay for quality.”
     
    20.06.2011   India: United Breweries postpones launch of Heineken till early 2012 - report    ( E-Malt.com )

    The launch of Heineken, the legendary Dutch beer in India from the stables of the United Breweries Ltd (UBL) is understood to have been delayed once again, Business Standard reported on June, 13.

    According to alcohol beverage trade officials, UBL is understood to be gearing up to launch Heineken in India during early 2012 from the earlier scheduled launch of October 2011.

    According to trade officials, this is due to the delay in the upgrade work which is going on at one of UB’s brewery in Mumbai, the sole brewery which will be used to brew Heineken beer to meet its global standards.

    The decision to brew Heineken in India was taken after Heineken NV picked up a 37.5 per cent stake in India’s largest brewery company - UB, during late 2009. The management of UB had indicated that they may be able to launch Heineken during end of 2010, a date which was later deferred to mid or late 2011.

    “There are lot of technical issues in brewing Heineken in India. An entire line to brew the beer is being imported and is being fine-tuned to retain its exclusive taste. Not only the line, even the barley to brew the beer in India is being imported from Europe,” senior officials at UB Group said.

    However when contacted, UBL MD Kalyan Ganguly said that they are working towards a launch during October and do not see a delay. The brewery in Maharashtra is being upgraded with an investment of around Rs 30 crore.

    In addition to this upgrading, UB is also putting up a greenfield brewery in Andhra Pradesh which will be built with possibilities to brew Heineken beer at a later date.

    Even as UB is taking active steps to brew Heineken to India, the company has earlier introduced Heineken in selected markets of India through imports. Presently, the cost of Heineken is high (around Rs 150 for 330 ml) due to higher duties imposed on imported beer.

    Domestic brewing will help to substantially reduce the price of this beer in the country, though it will be still at the premium end of the market. A 330 ml Kingfisher pint costs around Rs 60 at the premium end and Heineken, even after being brewed in India is expected to be upwards of Rs 90.

    As per industry experts, this is also going to help Kingfisher in realising a revenue upside by selling this premium brand in the country.

    Heineken, through the partnership with UB, is hoping to reach various metros in India to start off with riding on UB’s strong distribution network. In turn, UB is hoping that its brands will get a global stage through Heineken network in more than 60 countries.

    UBL, which sold more than 105 million cases of beer in FY11, has around 50 per cent market share in India and has been facing tough competition from competitors like SABMiller in its regular beer segment.

    “The margins are also under pressure due to rise in commodity prices. The launch of Heineken in India will not only improve margin of UBL but also boost its efforts in premium beer segment,” an analyst said.

    Meantime, the beer company, which aims to touch 200 million cases in the next three years period, is ramping up its manufacturing facility through acquisitions and setting up of greenfield breweries to meet the increasing demand for its products with an investment of around Rs 700 crore. It is planning to introduce greenfield breweries in Nanjangud of Karnataka along with one in Bihar.

    It will also expand its existing capacity in Odisha, Kalyani (West Bengal), Aurangabad in Maharashtra (two units) and Hyderabad (three units) in the near future. With these planned capacities, UBL’s present capacity will go up to 16 million cases per month from 12.6 million cases in the current calender year. The company is also in talks with various state governments to cultivate barley for captive sourcing.

    UBL has posted a 53 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 40 crore in the fourth quarter of 201-11, as compared with Rs 26.1 crore in the same period last year. Net sales rose 46.5 per cent to Rs 839.5 crore during this period as compared with Rs 573.15 crore last year.

    On an annual basis, the company registered a 73 per cent rise in net profit in 2010-11 to Rs 168 crore as compared with Rs 97 crore in 2009-10. Net sales rose 41 per cent to Rs 2,778.8 crore in 2010-11 against Rs 1,973.1 crore reported in 2009-10.
     
    21.07.2010   India: SABMiller India to innovate in new access points to its beer     ( E-Malt.com )

    SABMiller India, the second largest brewer in the country, is eyeing innovative access points to sell more beers in the next 12-18 months using the relaxation and emotional connects, Financial Chronicle posted on July, 11.
    Along with Vijay Mallya owned United Breweries, SABMiller controls about 80 per cent of the Indian beer market which, according to market research firm International Wine and Spirit Record, sold around 181.5 million cases in 2009.
    "Our current portfolio in India has well-known brands such as Haywards, Fosters, Indus Pride, Peroni, Royal Challenge premium lager and Knock Out. We plan to innovate on creating new access points for Indian beer consumers. There are about 15,000 people per outlet in India compared to 300 people in Europe,” said Derek Jones, director - marketing, SABMiller India.
    With so many customers in every outlet, the quality of engagement dips and does not create a suitable environment for responsible drinking, Jones, who has worked in the UK-based SABMiller's Czech, Russian and South African operations, added.
    This is also where the opportunity lies in ramping up the current beer consumption, which stands at 1.2-1.3 litres per capita. "Relaxation and emotional connects like Bollywood and sports are big passion here. This is where activations like F-Row (a separate row in Inox), Dominos tie-up for home-parties and swimming pool party engagements (Australian barbeque) create an environment for alcohol consumption. Currently, sports stadium environments don't allow consumption but in future things might change, creating fresh access points," the marketing head, whose previous assignments include P&G and British Petroleum, said. He declined to give specifics of new initiatives.
    The company is evaluating the market to see which of its international brands can be launched in India. Apart from Peroni, SABMiller has three other global brands like Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell.
    Recently, global beer brands such as Carlsberg and Heineken have forayed into the Indian market. "However, we don't see any imminent threat from them as we enjoy first mover's advantage and stronger brand recall in India," said Jones.
    SABMiller India, which owns 10 breweries in the country, may also be exploring brewing options in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Diu & Daman and Goa, but nothing has been firmed up as yet, he added.
     
    12.05.2010   India: The state of Kerala announces a 10% cut in beer taxes     ( E-Malt.com )

    A 10 per cent cut in taxes on beer and wine proposed in the fifth annual budget of Kerala for 2010-11 by Minister for finance of the state Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac has left the beer traders and consumers in high spirits, literally, Indian Wine communicated on May, 6.
    As a result, the breweries all over the country plan to rush to Kerala to launch their brands of beer and dominate the market in a hope that the sale of beer are likely to shoot up. Undoubtedly, the firm that is likely to be greatly benefitted by this is Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries. Brands such as Kingfisher Strong, Kingfisher Lager, Zingaro, Sand Piper, London Pilsner Strong, Kalyani Strong are already favourites among consumers of Kerala.
    A spokesperson of Beverage Corporation reported that of the 8.36 lakh cases of beer that were sold last month, 6.6 lakh cases were of United Breweries. In the year 2009, 171.17 lakh of liquor cases were sold out at the outlets of Beverage Corporation alone.
    About 43 per cent of this was beer alone, it is reported.
     
     
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