Briefs: Heineken, C&C and Foster's

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer Grupo modelo

In the latest briefs, Heineken steps up its presence in Algeria,
The C&C Group continues to be hit by a weak UK cider market,
and Foster's goes brand mad by extending an exclusive deal to push
Corona Extra in Australia.

Heineken Algeria bound with Tango buy Heineken has further extended its international presence in beer production with the acquisition of the Tango brewery in Algeria.

The company announced yesterday that the purchase of the site from Group Mehri, for an undisclosed fee, would grant it an established footing within the high-growth market for beer as well as its own production base in the country.

Along with the Tango, Samba and Fiesta beer brands, Heineken will also acquire q 750,000 hectolitre brewery situated in Rouiba, 30 km from Algeirs.

Built in 2001, the site employs 350 staff to produce beer.

Heineken said it had previously had to export its brands into the country.

Tom de Man, the company's regional president for Africa and the Middle East said that expanding into the country would allow the group to capitalise on strong demand for both domestic and imported brands.

"With this acquisition, Heineken obtains the number one mainstream beer brand, Tango and becomes the strong number two player in the fast growing and profitable Algerian beer market ," he stated.

"Given its strong brand image, we expect the Heineken brand to perform strongly in the market's large premium segment."

The group added that the acquisition will be funded from the group's existing cash resources Cider hits C&C sales The C&C Group says it expects a ten per cent fall in revenues for the fiscal year over the same period in 2006 following a hard summer for the group's UK cider business.

During the three-month period ending 30 November 2007, revenues for the group's cider division fell by 18 per cent, though the spirits and liqueurs segment posted a one per cent rise.

The group, which produces both the Magners and Bulmers cider brands, said that a two per cent revenue increase for the segment in its Irish operations, was met with a 30 per cent fall in its British business.

Although sales of Bulmers in the Republic of Ireland help drive improvement during the quarter, the group stressed that its performance on the UK market had continued to be hampered from poor weather over the summer and overall weakness within the on-trade pubs and bar market.

The company said that as a result of the performance operating margins were down by a percentage point over the previous quarter, though margins related specifically to cider production remained unchanged.

Foster's retains Corona Extra deal Australia-based brewer Foster's has announced today that it will extend its exclusive license with Mexico-based counterpart Grupo Modelo to sell and market the Corona Extra brand in the country.

Foster's says that the latest deal will continue a 19 year old cooperation between the two brewers, which has helped the brand to become the biggest selling imported beer in the country and the ninth largest label on the global market.

During the last year, Australian sales volumes for Corona Extra have grown by 39.6 per cent, granting the brand a 30.4 per cent share of the country's imported beer market, the group said.

"Corona Extra is an important part of Foster's beer portfolio and we're delighted to extend our partnership with Grupo Modelo," stated Jamie Odell, Foster's Australia, Asia & Pacific managing director.

"We look forward to further strengthening Corona 's position as the leading imported premium beer in Australia ."

Imported beverages are becoming an increasingly significant market for Australian brewers amidst huge growth in the category.

Between 2001 and 2006 the sales value of imported beers brands in Australia has increased 121 per cent to AUS$733m, according to Euromonitor.

The same figures found by comparison, that although it remained significantly higher, the market value of domestic beer brands in Australia rose by 13.3 per cent to AUS$11.9bn.

The strong level of growth for imported brands has not gone unnoticed in the country.

In August, Dutch brewer Royal Grolsch said that it was entering into an agreement with local group Premium Beverages to import, market and distribute Grolsch in the country from 10 September.

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