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Nov 5, 2013

Imperial Tobacco to launch e-cigarettes to counter falling sales

LONDON (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said cost cuts and the launch of electronic cigarettes would help deliver “modest” growth for the new year as it posted slightly better than expected earnings.

Imperial, and its rivals such as Philip Morris International (PM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and British American Tobacco (BATS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are grappling with declining sales in a number of markets due to increasing government regulation and more health-aware consumers, as well as smuggling and an economic downturn.

Oct 28, 2013

Bets on for mega brewer merger as virgin ground shrinks

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – With half the world’s
beer produced by four big firms and few markets left for them to
tap, the time may be right for a $100 billion merger between the
two largest, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller
.

This mega-deal is tipped by analysts as the most likely
tie-up because of the other two, Heineken is family
controlled and Carlsberg is protected by a trust.

Oct 24, 2013

Unilever hit by sliding emerging market currencies

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Unilever Plc
reported slower sales growth after demand for its consumer goods
was hit by the devaluation of a handful of emerging market
currencies and other factors such as rising onion prices in
India.

“This is a soft quarter without a shadow of a doubt,” Chief
Financial Officer Jean Marc Huet told Reuters in an interview On
Thursday.

Oct 22, 2013

Reckitt Benckiser reviews pharma unit, could sell it

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is reviewing options for its pharmaceuticals unit, it said on Tuesday, effectively putting up for sale its prescription medicine for heroin addiction, which faces cheap, copycat competition.

Shares in the British company rose over 4.5 percent in early trading. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has valued the pharmaceuticals unit at about 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion).

Oct 21, 2013

SABMiller’s Europe boss looks beyond men to boost beer demand

WOKING (Reuters) – When Sue Clark named the near-black Fawcett’s Folly imperial stout the winner of SABMiller’s (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 2013 employee brew-off contest last week, it was not just because she likes dark beer.

The head of the brewer’s European business praised its “360-degree marketing,” which appealed to both men and women and is the type of advertising she is betting on to help stem declines in beer demand.

Oct 17, 2013

Chinese abstinence hits drinks firms Diageo, Remy

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s crackdown on corruption, and with it luxury gift-giving, has again hit quarterly sales of spirits, European drinks groups Diageo Plc (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Remy Cointreau SA (RCOP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday.

In contrast, brewer SABMiller Plc (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said sales of lager in the last three months jumped 10 percent by volume in China, one of the markets that helped the maker of Peroni and Grolsch beers post a 6 percent rise in net sales by value, up from a 2 percent rise the previous quarter.

Oct 17, 2013

Americas help Europe’s drinks makers offset Europe and Asia

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Strong sales of alcohol in the
Americas have helped European drinks firms to offset sluggish or
non-existent growth in Europe and Asia.

Diageo Plc, the world’s biggest spirits company,
reported a 3.1 percent rise in sales for its first quarter,
ended on Sept. 30.

Oct 15, 2013

Spirits group Diageo sees faster growth in Africa

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Diageo, the world’s
biggest spirits group, should see sales growth in Africa
accelerate as it expands into new markets like Ethiopia and
Angola and rising incomes enable traditional beer drinkers to
try spirits, it said on Tuesday.

Africa currently generates 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2
billion)in annual sales for Diageo, accounting for 12 percent of
the group total, and sales have been growing at a compound
annual rate of 13 percent over the past decade.

Oct 10, 2013

Fisker green-car government loan heads to auction block

DETROIT/LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of
Energy will consider bids to purchase Fisker Automotive’s
government loan on Friday in what could be the start of a
lengthy and expensive process to revive the dormant green-car
startup.

Fisker, which has not built a car in about 15 months, does
not have enough money to pay millions in outstanding bills. The
company laid off most of its employees in April after running
short of cash, a month after co-founder and executive chairman
Henrik Fisker resigned.

Oct 8, 2013

Nestle looks to sell Jenny Craig as part of divestiture push: sources

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking to sell its Jenny Craig diet business and is speaking to a small group of potential buyers about the brand, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The sources, who declined to be identified as talks are private, said on Tuesday that Nestle was working with Goldman Sachs on the sale process.