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Jan 30, 2014

Diageo’s sales growth slows on emerging markets weakness

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Diageo, the world’s
biggest distilled drinks company reported a slowdown in sales
growth in the last six months after demand in China and some
other important emerging markets dropped sharply.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and
Guinness beer, which generates about 42 percent of its sales
from emerging markets, reported a 1.8 percent rise in sales for
the first half of its fiscal year ending in June, following a
rise of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, with analysts
estimating growth in the second quarter slowing to 1.6 percent.

Jan 27, 2014

Premier Foods hands control of Hovis to U.S. Gores Group

PARIS (Reuters) – Britain’s Premier Foods (PFD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will hand control of Hovis bread to U.S. investment firm The Gores Group, in a deal which values the struggling unit at 87.5 million pounds ($144.40 million).

The deal puts an end to months of speculation about the direction of the ailing business, which has suffered from intense competition from branded and private label players, and should inject new capital to allow Premier Foods to focus on its other grocery brands, such as Mr. Kipling cakes.

Jan 24, 2014

Mexico draws over $7 billion in foreign investment at Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Pepsico, Nestle and Cisco on Friday announced major investments that together totaled more than $7 billion in Mexico, where the government has pushed through a series of economic reforms that aim to boost foreign investment and growth.

Mexico has embraced free trade policies in recent decades, and has drawn growing investment interest after President Enrique Pena Nieto made a landmark reform drive in his first year in office, pushing major telecommunications, energy, banking and tax legislation through a divided Congress.

Jan 21, 2014

Unilever sticks with emerging markets as sales rebound

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever said it would stick to its emerging markets growth strategy as a fourth-quarter recovery in sales in the region boosted the consumer goods maker’s 2013 results and reassured investors who had been worried about consumer demand there.

Unilever generates more than half of its sales in emerging and developing markets, so was hurt by economic weakness last year in countries such as Indonesia and the devaluation of currencies including the Brazilian real and Indian rupee.

Jan 21, 2014

SABMiller beer volumes disappoint, shares fall

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – SABMiller, the world’s
No. 2 brewer, reported third-quarter sales, hurt by weaker beer
volume, sending its shares down 2 percent in morning trading.

The maker of beers including Peroni Nastro Azzurro and
Grolsh said on Tuesday that net producer revenue rose 4 percent
for the quarter ended Dec. 31, in line with its expectations.

Jan 21, 2014

Emerging markets rebound lifts Unilever results and shares

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A fourth-quarter recovery in
emerging markets sales boosted consumer goods maker Unilever
‘s 2013 results and sent its shares higher on
Tuesday morning as investors greeted the news with relief.

Unilever generates more than half of its sales in developing
and emerging markets. It was hit hard in the third quarter by
slower economic growth in countries such as Indonesia and the
devaluation of a handful of currencies including the Brazilian
real and the Indian rupee – all of which crimped consumer
demand.

Jan 14, 2014

Japan’s Suntory to buy U.S. spirits maker Beam for $13.6 billion cash

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Suntory Holdings Ltd SUNTH.UL on Monday said it would buy U.S. spirits company Beam Inc (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $13.6 billion cash in a deal that would make the Japanese company the world’s third-largest spirits maker.

Including the assumption of Beam’s net debt, the deal is valued at $16 billion. It brings together Beam’s Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Jan 13, 2014

Japan’s Suntory to buy U.S. drinks group Beam in $16 billion deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Suntory Holdings Ltd SUNTH.UL has agreed a $16 billion deal to buy Beam Inc (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), making the Japanese company the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks with a global footprint.

The company is paying $13.6 billion in cash for Beam shares as well as assuming its net debt, bringing together Beam’s Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Jan 8, 2014

Diageo joins with Diddy for a second drink, DeLeon tequila

LONDON (Reuters) – Diageo PLC (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and celebrity rapper turned business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs have jointly bought luxury U.S. tequila brand DeLeon, hoping to repeat the success they have had with the company’s fast-growing Ciroc vodka.

The American record producer, actor and entrepreneur became the face of Ciroc in 2007 under a joint marketing and profit-sharing deal which has brought a near 40-fold rise in annual sales volumes for the brand’s products.

Jan 6, 2014

Arla brings in more UK dairy farmers as deregulation looms

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Dairy cooperative Arla Foods
has nearly doubled the number of British farmers that
are owners in its business as the company works to raise sales
in international markets like Africa and China, where demand for
dairy products is growing.

European farmers are particularly keen to access those
markets, since the European dairy industry will see an end to
production quotas in 2015. The change is expected to flood the
market with new milk that could push down prices.