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Dec 4, 2013

Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco seek Russia advantage with $1.5 bln deal

MOSCOW/LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Philip Morris International
Inc and Japan Tobacco Inc are buying 20 percent
stakes in their Russian distributor Megapolis for $750 million
each, strengthening their grip on the world’s No.2 cigarette
market by volume after China.

Russia, where 40 percent of the adult population smoke, is a
key battleground for foreign tobacco companies grappling with
dwindling sales in many developed markets where government
regulation is becoming stricter and smokers fewer.

Nov 28, 2013

Britain seeks to force plain cigarette packaging on tobacco firms

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Britain signalled it would force
tobacco companies to scrap branded cigarette packaging on
Thursday in an attempt to reduce the number of children who may
be drawn to smoking by striking and brightly coloured packs.

In a surprise decision that was welcomed by cancer research
charities but scorned by some tobacco companies, the government
said it was appointing a paediatrician to examine whether plain
packaging would reduce the human and financial cost of smoking.

Nov 27, 2013

Analysis: No checkouts, no chocolate: Online shopping hits impulse buys

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) – For consumers, one of the great things about shopping online is bypassing the queue to check out. For producers of the candy, magazines and drinks often sold there, it’s a problem.

In Britain, the country where e-commerce is most popular, about 13 percent of people do all or most of their grocery shopping online. Yet this only accounts for 5 percent of overall spending, suggesting consumers spend more when they visit a store.

Nov 27, 2013

No checkouts, no chocolate: Online shopping hits impulse buys

LONDON/BERLIN, Nov 27 (Reuters) – For consumers, one of the
great things about shopping online is bypassing the queue to
check out. For producers of the candy, magazines and drinks
often sold there, it’s a problem.

In Britain, the country where e-commerce is most popular,
about 13 percent of people do all or most of their grocery
shopping online. Yet this only accounts for 5 percent of overall
spending, suggesting consumers spend more when they visit a
store.

Nov 25, 2013

Diageo offers to sell Whyte & Mackay whisky assets

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Diageo (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has offered to sell most of Whyte & Mackay’s whisky assets to address competition concerns arising from its July acquisition of a controlling interest in India’s United Spirits (UNSP.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits maker, said on Monday that it would assist Britain’s Office of Fair Trading with its evaluation of the United Spirits deal and that a further announcement would be made in due course.

Nov 22, 2013

Reckitt hires Morgan Stanley for pharma review-sources

LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser Group
has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on its options for its
shrinking pharmaceuticals unit, according to two sources
familiar with the matter.

The British consumer goods company said last month it was
examining options for the business, which sells a heroin
addiction medicine and could fetch over 2 billion pounds ($3.24
billion) in a sale, according to analysts.

Nov 21, 2013

SABMiller says emerging market beer drinkers driving growth

LONDON (Reuters) – SABMiller (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s second-largest brewer, said emerging markets would continue to drive sales and earnings while European and North American consumers drink less beer.

Other companies including Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Diageo (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have reported a slowdown in emerging markets such as China and Brazil but SABMiller said it was upbeat on the outlook for Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Nov 21, 2013

SABMiller posts three percent rise in half-year earnings

LONDON (Reuters) – SABMiller (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s second-largest brewer, reported a rise in profits for the first half of its financial year, as strength in Africa helped offset declining beer sales in Europe and North America.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 7 percent to $3.27 billion in the six months ended 30 September. That was ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $3.22 billion, according to a company-supplied consensus.

Nov 21, 2013

SABMiller posts 3 pct rise in half-year earnings

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – SABMiller, the world’s
second-largest brewer, reported a rise in profits for the first
half of its financial year, as strength in Africa helped offset
declining beer sales in Europe and North America.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization rose 7 percent to $3.27 billion in the six months
ended 30 September. That was ahead of analysts’ average estimate
of $3.22 billion, according to a company-supplied consensus.

Nov 19, 2013

Diageo to launch new bourbons, doesn’t need Beam Inc

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Alcoholic drinks maker Diageo PLC
does not need to buy rival Beam Inc, its chief
executive officer said on Tuesday, since it is expanding its
existing whiskeys and launching new ones.

Diageo has long been seen as a potential buyer of newly
independent Beam, since Beam’s array of bourbon whiskies would
complement Diageo’s two dozen Scotch brands, which include
Johnnie Walker, J&B and Talisker.