Foster’s Brewing Group has produced a 27.3% rise in net operating profit to A$243.3 million (US$148m) for the half year ended December 1999. Beer earnings were up 15%, wine up 34% and the contribution from leisure and hospitality rising 61%. Good gains in Europe and continued double-digit growth in the US saw the Foster‘s International business increase its profit by 54% to A$8 million.
In Asia, the brewing businesses reduced losses from A$15.1 million to A$6.6 million following the restructure of its China business, reduced losses in Vietnam and early success in India, a company statement says. On 18 February, Foster’s market capitalisation of A$7.32 billion rated the beverage to leisure group as Australia’s 20th largest company. Coca-Cola Amatil was rated 40th, Lion Nathan 73rd..

Foster’s Brewing Group announced that Foster’s Asia chief executive Jim King will succeed Nuno D’Aquino as the new head of the two divisions responsible for the biggest chunk of Foster’s profits. They are Carlton & United Breweries and the pubs and gaming division Australian Leisure & Hospitality.
Nuno D’Aquino, 58, has been elevated to the new position of deputy chief executive with responsibility for e-commerce initiatives and introducing a shared services platform across the group. The personnel and organisational changes give nourishment to rumours about Ted Kunkel’s succession. Foster’s CEO Ted Kunkel, 56, who has been at the helm since 1992, has said that he has no intention of stepping down. Mildara Blass’ managing director Terry Davis is also rated as a succession chance..

Tasmanian brewer J. Boag & Son may have been snubbed by Lion Nathan when the diminutive brewer offered to buy Kirin’s stake in Lion Nathan (see Brauwelt International No.1/2000). This has not stopped Boag‘s chief executive Philip Adkins from making a bid for the UK’s number two brewer Bass at the end of March. Delusions of grandeur? Far from it. Boag’s chief believes to be shortlisted with global brewers such as Heineken, Carlsberg and South African Breweries. Bass’s beer division is valued at up to US$3 billion, while Boag’s market capitalisation is A$50 million (US$30.5m). Therefore Mr Adkins has announced that he has secured the backing of Germany’s largest state-owned bank, Westdeutsche Landesbank. The German bank would provide debt plus some equity..

Asahi Breweries issued a warning that 1999 profits would be significantly lower than forecast because of efforts to tidy up its balance sheet and poor performance by Nikka Whiskey, a consolidated spirits company. The brewer announced that net profits would be ¥3.5 billion (US$33.3 million) on sales of ¥1,409 billion. Earlier forecasts had expected ¥12 billion in profits on sales of ¥1,450 billion.

For distribution in the Shanghai, Guangzhou and other regions of southern China, Zhuhai Kirin President Brewery was formed, in which Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. has a 60% share and President Enterprise Co., the leading food company in Taiwan, holds a 40% share. The new enterprise has a turnover of 32 million US Dollars, produces about 700,000 hl beer, and employs around 700 workers.

The Japanese Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd., Tokyo, took over a 45% share in Nathan Lion Ltd. over a year ago in order to have a future in the international beer market as an active, global competitor. Lion Nathan Ltd. leads the market in New Zealand with a market share of 54% and also holds a 41% share of the Australian market. for distribution in the Shanghai, Guangzhou and other regions of southern China.K...

Over 800 brewing and beverage professionals will celebrate the 6th millennium of beer brewing as well as discuss and plan for the future developments of the brewing industry when they meet in Singapore in March 2000. The 26th Convention of the Institute of Brewing (IOB) Convention will be held from 19 to 24 March 2000 alongside the Brew.Drink Tech Asia 2000 exhibition.

Brew.Drink Tech Asia 2000, Singapore’s leading brewing and beverage technology exhibition will return for its third presentation. This event’s focus includes equipment for brewing, consultancy and education, packaging and storage equipment, waste management, and other services.

The organisers are expecting a record attendance of delegates from all over the world.

Kloster Co. has launched a dark beer (7% ABV), Black Tiger, which represents the brewer’s first foray into the low-to-mid price range after having sold the premium priced Kloster for nearly 20 years. Black Tiger is reasonably priced at US$2.48 for a 3-pack of 640 ml bottles and comes in green bottles which are usually associated with premium beers. Standard brands, such as Singha and Chang, are sold in brown bottles.
Kloster is hoping that Black Tiger will establish a new market segment, namely dark beer, as opposed to lagers, and capture a 2 per cent share of the market. The beer will be pushed via the company’s 150 distributors. A media budget of US$1.24 million is to support the launch. Should the new beer prove successful, Kloster would be able to use its 0.24 per 640ml bottle..

Although microbreweries are still suffering from a decline in business caused by the recession, Baan Tawandang Co. announced the opening of the country’s largest brewpub on Rama III Road in Bangkok. It has room for 1,000 customers and a brewing capacity of 5,000 hl annually. Tawandang Brew House represents a 70 million baht investment (US$1.87 million). By targeting the middle-income earners, the brewpub is expected to turn over 10 million baht a month (US$270,000). Break-even is scheduled for 2002. Tawandang Brew House is a spin-off from Baan Tawandang Co., which was set up six years ago and runs three pubs in Bangkok with a total of 2,500 seats. The brewpub will supply 30 per cent of its beer to the group’s other outlets.

Thailand’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has granted a 30 mg increase of caffeine content in energy drinks to 80 mg a bottle. The ruling, which includes control of advertisements, will be forwarded to the National Food Commission before it is endorsed as an FDA announcement. However, the Foundation for Consumers questioned the FDA’s role in protecting consumers’ health. The Foundation expressed doubts over how the FDA would control the consumption of such energy drinks when it has not been able to reduce the daily consumption of energy drinks with a lower caffeine content.

The Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Board (TTWB), a state-owned monopoly producer of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, will be incorporated as Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Corp. The Ministry of Finance has already approved of the plan. After the expected enactment of the Tobacco and Alcoholic Drinks Law, the TTWB will apply to the Ministry of Economic Affairs to incorporate itself. The new company will have five divisions: beer, tobacco, wine, liquor and distribution. Each division will be run as a profit centre. The TTWB also acts as an importer of tobacco and alcoholic drinks.

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