European consumer goods correspondent
David's Feed
Jun 10, 2012

Diageo leads Pernod in race into emerging markets

LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) – British drinks giant Diageo
is leading the race into emerging markets ahead of
French rival Pernod Ricard and looks set to be first
to get half its sales from these growth areas as it serves
drinkers from Moscow to Mumbai.

While Diageo has been snapping up producers of baijiu,
cachaca and raki in China, Brazil and Turkey to drive sales in
the world’s fastest growing economies, Pernod is hamstrung by
massive debts taken on four years ago to buy Absolut vodka.

Jun 6, 2012

Diageo splashes out to tap whisky boom

LONDON (Reuters) – Drinks group Diageo Plc (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to invest over 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in Scotch whisky production over the next five years, creating hundreds of jobs, to meet growing demand from the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The maker of Johnnie Walker, J&B and Bells whisky said it plans to build a new malt distillery, expand a number of its other distilleries and develop plans for a second new distillery if global demand is sustained at expected levels.

May 31, 2012

Analysis: SABMiller faces long haul to turn around Foster’s

LONDON (Reuters) – World No.2 brewer SABMiller (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set for a tough battle to turnaround its Australian Foster’s acquisition as its beer volumes sink and it loses key import contracts which will stretch management to meet new aggressive targets.

Investors are unconvinced that SABMiller, which has built up its business around fast-growing emerging markets to become the biggest brewer there, made the right move in buying the No.1 player in mature market Australia when its beer volumes, profit and market share were all going south. SABMiller’s shares have underperformed its main rival Anheuser Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

May 31, 2012

Tate & Lyle finds right ingredients for profit lift

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) – Strong growth of sucralose
sweetener Splenda and other speciality food ingredients helped
boost Tate & Lyle’s full-year profit 23 percent, as the
British group gained from a move by consumers toward healthier
foods.

The London-based sweeteners and starches group reopened a
second plant in March to meet demand for its zero calorie
Splenda while high sugar prices benefited its competing bulk
sweeteners and it gained from growth in emerging markets.

May 28, 2012

Insight: European firms plan for Greek unrest and euro exit

LONDON (Reuters) – British electrical retailer Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece in case of riot.

The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.

May 28, 2012

European firms plan for Greek unrest and euro exit

LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – British electrical retailer
Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling
security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece
in case of riot.

The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look
alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.

May 28, 2012

Diageo taps into Brazil growth with cachaca buy

LONDON (Reuters) – British drinks group Diageo (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is buying a maker of Brazil’s most popular spirit, cachaca, for about 300 million pounds ($469 million), boosting its expansion in fast-growing emerging markets while it fights for a bigger prize in tequila.

The London-based maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, which is aiming to get half of its sales from emerging markets by 2015, said on Monday it had agreed to buy Brazil’s Ypioca from its family owners.

May 24, 2012

Africa and Latam thirst for beer drives SABMiller

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – Strong growth in Africa and Latin
America helped global brewer SABMiller offset a fall in
beer drinking in Europe and North America, as the Grolsch and
Peroni maker beat forecasts with a 12 percent rise in full-year
earnings.

The world’s second biggest brewer earns 70 percent of its
profit from fast-growing emerging markets, which helps insulate
it from tough mature markets where hard-pressed consumers are
economising at the bar and drinking less beer at home.

May 21, 2012

Buyout trio chase 2.5 bln euro Iglo Group -sources

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – A trio of private equity groups
remain in the hunt to buy Europe’s biggest frozen food company
Iglo Group in a 2.5 billion euro ($3.2 billion) plus
auction process, people familiar with the process said.

Blackstone, BC Partners and PAI are into
the second round of the sale by rival buyout firm Permira
while Bain and Clayton Dubilier & Rice did not make
the cut, the people added.

May 15, 2012

Diageo hopes to seal tequila deal soon

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – British drinks group Diageo
is weeks away from buying a minority stake in the owner
of the world’s no. 1 tequila brand, Jose Cuervo, a business
valued at $3 billion-plus, with talks focusing on whether the
Beckmann family will take shares or cash.

A deal which will allow Diageo to take majority control of
the business at a later date is the current favoured option as
the Beckmanns are not keen on selling out completely and are
eager to benefit from future growth, sources close to the talks
said.

    • About David

      "I write on and co-ordinate coverage of European consumer goods companies from London. These include food groups such as Nestle, Unilever and Danone, drinks companies like Diageo, Heineken and SABMiller, and cigarette groups British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco. I have previously worked in Milan covering Italian financial news and before that specialised on the car industry and the engineering sector, and also have some experience of commodity coverage."
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