Liquor Industry News 5-14-13

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Franklin Liquors

 

Tuesday May 14th 2013

Today Is A Biodynamic FLOWER Day.

Great To Taste Or Drink Wine!

 

US Spirits – Nielsen Data – Price/mix now consistently strong

 

No sign of any weakening of the trend

 

Source: Nomura

May 13, 2013

 

European Beverages

Sector View: Bearish

Ian Shackleton – NIplc

 

Price/ mix continues to be strong

AC Nielsen released US spirits data for four weeks to 27 April 2013. Pricing was positive at +3.8%, slightly lower than previous month’s +4.3%, but in line with YTD figures (+3.9%). We had noted that NABCA pricing had stepped up since June, as price increases were made early by the control states; now both the Nielsen and NABCA data (March +3.5%) are consistently showing some rebasing upwards of pricing into the +3-4% range.

 

Volume sees some dip in momentum

After adjusting for the reclassification of Washington state (which is now an open state, included in Nielsen data), total industry volumes were negative at -1.6% vs strong comps at +3.8% and softer than the previous month’s +1.3%. Although volume growth was negative, we do not see this as a change in trend and remain upbeat on the US spirits outlook. Certainly there has been no company commentary to suggest any slowdown in the volume dynamic for the industry. Remember that Nielsen only accounts for c10% of US spirit volumes.

 

Diageo outperforms on pricing – remains our preferred investment

As expected, Diageo’s pricing continues to be better than the industry per Nielsen, at +5.2% (vs industry +3.8%), but vs previous month +5.9. However, this continues to be at the expense of volume loss -7.0%. Diageo in its 1H results had indicated that peers are now taking pricing higher across most categories, suggesting a more rationale pricing environment, and also flagged that taking pricing at the 2-3% level every year looks achievable in the US. This appears to be true with the recent Nielsen data showing improvement in price/mix for most companies. Within the spirits space, we continue to prefer Diageo given its substantial exposure to the US (c40% of EBIT) together with further upside potential from M&A. In addition, the slowdown in momentum in China is likely to have a more adverse effect on Remy (Reduce) and Pernod (Neutral) given their high exposure to that region. Estimated profit exposure to China – Remy c30%, Pernod c15% and Diageo c1%.

 

 

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Nielsen Spirits: April data slows across the board on weak volume

 

Source: Goldman Sachs

May 13th

 

Industry sales grew only +1.6% in April on weaker volume

Spirits data in Nielsen-tracked xAOC (food, drug, mass, WMT) increased +1.6% for the four weeks ended April 27th. Price/mix was healthy at +3.2%, but volume inflected negatively (-1.6%) for the first time since 2010. Sales and volume were well below 52-week trends, while pricing was slightly above. Among major categories, Scotch led growth at +11.5%, followed by bourbon (+8.2%), Canadian whiskey (+7.8%), vodka (+1.7%), gin (-1.9%), rum (-3.1%), and tequila (-3.1%). The white liquor categories, along with brandy/cognac, slowed on a sequential basis. Calendar alignment may have had a slight impact, as pre-Easter purchases (Easter was March 31st this year vs. April 8th last year) would have fallen in last month’s data this year vs. April data in 2012.

 

BEAM sales decelerate to +1.3%

BEAM’s overall company sales grew only +1.3%, driven by +4.4% price/mix and -2.9% volume. This is both a sequential (sales up +6.7%) and y-o-y deceleration (+12.2% last year). Core Jim Beam was strong, up +5.4%, in line with recent mid-single-digit trends. Maker’s Mark decelerated slightly but was still up +14.5%, despite a -1420bp reduction in percent sold on promo. Pinnacle and Skinny Girl both decelerated this period, as the broader vodka slowed meaningfully (+1.7% this period vs. +8.9% year-ago).

 

BF_B sales also decelerate, up +2.5%; JD back to LSD growth

BF_B sales were up +2.5% this period, driven by +2.6% price/mix and -0.1% volume. Sales/volume came in below recent trends, while price/mix was stronger. Core Jack Daniels grew +1.9% this period, a sequential slowdown from last month’s +5.0% print but broadly in line with the 6-month average of +2.3%. SoCo sales grew +1.0% this period, while Woodford Reserve was up +29.3%, reflecting the strength of ultra-premium whiskey. Finlandia sales grew +8.4% this period, lapping a -15.6% year-ago comp.

 

STZ leads the category in this channel; sales up +8.7%

STZ spirit sales grew +8.7% this period, on +10.3% volume and -1.5% price/mix drag. This is a slight sequential deceleration, but a year-over-year improvement and in line with the 52-week average of +9.1% sales growth. SVEDKA continues its impressive double-digit growth, up +13.6% this period despite a weaker vodka category.

 

 

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Campari First-Quarter Profit Misses Estimates Amid Sales Slump

 

Source: Bloomberg

By Clementine Fletcher

May 13, 2013

 

Davide Campari-Milano SpA (CPR), the maker of Wild Turkey bourbon, reported first-quarter profit that missed estimates as sales fell because of weak shipments to Italian retailers and bad weather in Germany.

 

Earnings before interest and tax dropped 18 percent to 51.5 million euros ($66.9 million) in the three months through March 31, the company said today in a statement. The average estimate of 12 analysts was 60.1 million euros. Sales excluding the effect of acquisitions and disposals slid 9 percent.

 

Milan-based Campari had warned that some sales in Italy recorded in the first quarter of last year would this year be booked in the second and third quarters as a change in the country’s shipment law led retailers to delay new orders. The company got 29 percent of revenue last year from Italy. The new law reduced sales by about 25 million euros in the first quarter, it said, adding that it may not recoup the losses.

 

“The results in the first, and traditionally low-season, quarter of 2013 were poor, due to the one-off impact of destocking in Italy,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz said today in the statement. The company also suffered “continued weakness in Germany” because of bad weather and a commercial dispute that affected the Campari and Aperol brands.

 

Campari fell as much as 3.8 percent in Milan trading and was down 3.2 percent at 5.97 euros as of 1:25 p.m.

 

“We expect the evolution in consumption trends and the potential persistence of poor weather conditions in Italy and in euro-zone markets to be the key challenges to the group’s ability to recover the first-quarter one-off destocking impact over the next quarters,” Kunze-Concewitz said.

 

Revenue rose 13 percent to 315.2 million euros after the company bought Lascelles deMercado & Co. last year to add Jamaican rum Appleton as it pushes into emerging markets and expands in the U.S. and Canada. The inclusion of the business depressed operating profit as a percentage of sales, as did Italian drinkers choosing less pricy drinks, Campari said.

 

Sales improved in the U.S., Latin America and Russia, aided by gains for Skyy vodka, the company said.

 

 

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Campari: Poor results in small first quarter 2013 mainly due to the ‘one-off’ destocking in Italy

 

Positive perimeter contribution thanks to Lascelles deMercado acquisition

 

Source: Marco Fusco, D’Antona&Partners / Campari

May 13th

 

RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS

.         Sales: ? 315.2 million (+12.9%, organic change -9.0%)

.         Contribution after A&P: ? 115.1 million (-1.6%, organic change -13.8%, 36.5% of sales)

.         EBITDA pre one-offs: ? 57.1 million (-20.0%, organic change -26.6%, 18.1% of sales)

.         EBIT pre one-offs: ? 47.6 million (-25.3%, organic change -23.3%, 15.1% of sales)

.         Group pre-tax profit: ? 39.4 million (-25.4%)

.         Net financial debt at ? 914.1 million as of 31 March 2013 (? 869.7 million as of 31 December 2012)

 

The Board of Directors of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM) approved today the consolidated results for the quarter ending 31 March 2013.

 

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer: ‘As anticipated, the results in the first, and traditionally low season, quarter of 2013 were poor, due to the ‘one-off’ impact of destocking in Italy, generated by so called article 62 which introduced a binding time limit to the payment terms, which determined a significant deterioration of the sales mix, and further exacerbated the weak local consumption trends. Results were strong in the Americas, showing continued positive momentum in the US market and improvements in Latin America, and Eastern Europe (particularly Russia), offsetting continued weakness in Germany, exacerbated by very poor weather conditions, and softness in Australia. Moreover, the integration and development activities of the Lascelles deMercado business are progressing in line with plan, and were marked by the transition of the international business into the Group network. Looking forward , the outlook for the current year remains unchanged. In particular, we expect the evolution in consumption trends and the potential persistence of poor weather conditions in Italy and in Eurozone markets to be the key challenges to the Group’s ability to recover the Q1 ‘one-off’ destocking impact over the next quarters.’.

 

In the first quarter of 2013 Group sales totalled ? 315.2 million showing a reported growth of +12.9% and an organic change of -9.0% (? 25.0 million in absolute terms). The exchange rates effect was negative by -1.6%. The perimeter effect was positive at +23.4%, driven by the newly-acquired Jamaican rum company Lascelles deMercado&Co. Ltd. (‘LdM’).

 

It should be noted that, as anticipated, the overall negative sales organic change was mainly attributable to a technical effect of so called article 62  (introducing a binding time limit to the payment terms that can be extended to the clientele) on the summer load program in Italy (a commercial initiative usually implemented in the first months of the year ahead of the summer seasonality consumption peak). The consequence was a ‘one-off’ destocking effect of ? 25 million on sales in the first quarter of 2013, which determined a significant deterioration of the sales mix and, consequently, a negative impact on operating margins. Moreover, the impact of the new LdM business, although in line with plans both in absolute terms and marginality, generated a further dilution in the Group margins driven by the higher concentration of lower margin non-core sugar and merchandise businesses vs. low seasonality spirits&wines in the first quarter.

 

CONSOLIDATED SALES OF THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2013

Looking at sales by region in the first quarter of 2013, the Americas (45.1% of total Group sales) posted an overall growth of +66.7%, with a strong organic increase of +10.8%, thanks to the sustained growth across all markets, a perimeter effect of +60.2% thanks to LdM, and an exchange rate effect of -4.4%. In the U.S. (19.6% of total Group sales) sales registered an organic increase of +7.6%, driven by double digit growth in the Wild Turkey franchise as well as the continued positive performances of the SKYY franchise, Espolón and Cabo Wabo tequilas and Campari, a perimeter effect of +0.4% (due to LdM) and an exchange rate effect of -0.7%. Sales in Brazil (4.0% of total Group sales) registered an organic growth of +22.4%, thanks to accelerating performances of premium brands (SKYY, Campari, and Sagatiba) as well as a partial recovery of local brands (Dreher, Old Eight and Drury’s), also due to an easy comparison base. Sales in the other Americas (21.5% of total Group sales) showed an organic growth of +14.0%, mainly thanks to a strong performance in Argentina (Cinzano, Old Smuggler and Campari). Perimeter change in the Other Americas was +320.4%, driven by the consolidation of LdM (Jamaica reaching 14.8% of Group sales in the first quarter 2013). Exchange rate effect was -9.9%.

 

The Italian market (23.8% of total Group sales) recorded an overall decline of -26.2%, attributable to an organic performance of -26.3% and a positive perimeter effect of +0.1%. The negative organic performance was driven by the expected destocking effect, linked to the introduction of the above mentioned article 62 which has further exacerbated the local weak consumption trend. The organic change excluding the ‘one-off’ destocking effect would have been negative by low/mid single digits. The key brands (Campari, Campari Soda and SKYY Vodka) recorded a strong decline in shipments; the wine portfolio declined, suffering from a slowdown in the restaurant channel. Soft drinks were also heavily affected by the above mentioned trade destocking as well as by the overall slowdown in consumption in the traditional day-bars channel.

Sales in the rest of Europe (19.2% of total Group sales) declined by -2.8%, driven by a negative organic change of -8.8%, a positive perimeter effect of +6.5%, thanks to a new distribution agreement in Germany as well as LdM, and a negative exchange rate effect of -0.5%. The organic performance was driven by continued softness of Aperol and Cinzano sparkling wine in Germany, exacerbated by very poor weather conditions. Russia on the contrary was up +52.9% showing strong results across the key Cinzano and Mondoro brands. Other European markets registered mixed results with Austria and Switzerland positive trends more than offset by decrease in France, Spain and Greece.

 

Sales in the rest of the world (including Global Travel Retail), which accounted for 11.9% of total Group sales, grew by +24.5% overall, with a negative organic change of -6.9% and a negative exchange rate effect of -1.5%. and a perimeter effect of +32.9% thanks to LdM. The organic sales decline was driven by weak shipments of the Wild Turkey franchise and Riccadonna sparkling wines, due to tough comps (+41.7% in 1Q 2012) and heightened competitive pressure on core bourbon and RTD’s in Australia. A positive development was also achieved in the region’s other key markets, including China, Nigeria and GTR.

 

Looking at sales by the key brands, regarding spirits (71.1% of Group sales) Campari declined by -12.4% impacted by weak shipments in Italy, due to so called article 62 introduction, in part offset by a good performance in Brazil and continued traction in international markets, in particular in U.S., Argentina and Nigeria. Aperol registered a negative organic performance of -15.3%, affected by continued weakness in Germany which was exacerbated by bad weather, in part offset by a positive performance in Italy (despite destocking) and other international markets. Overall organic growth excluding Germany was +4.8%. SKYY sales achieved an organic growth of +1.9%, driven by a positive performance in the US thanks to SKYY Infusions’ continued success and positive momentum behind core. Good results continued in key international markets, particularly Brazil. The Wild Turkey franchise registered an organic change of -0.3%, due to the mixed effect of strong growth in US offset by softness in Australia and Japan, as well as a tough comparison base (+24.0% in 1Q 2012). The Tequila portfolio registered a strong organic growth of +35.3%, driven by both Espolón and Cabo Wabo in the key U.S. market. Campari Soda declined by -28.3%, affected by so called article 62 and weak consumption trend and trading conditions in day bars channel and off trade in Italy. The Brazilian brands posted a good recovery in first quarter 2013, up +15.9%, thanks also to easy comps. GlenGrant registered a negative organic performance of-11.8%, as the positive performance in Germany, GTR and Japan was not able to offset weak performance in the core Italian market.

 

In terms of wines, which accounted for 13.1% of total sales, Cinzano vermouths registered an organic growth of +7.8%, driven by positive performances in Russia, Germany and Argentina. Cinzano sparkling wines sales registered a negative organic performance of -10.5%, driven by a strong performance of Russia, which was not able to compensate soft sales in Germany and Italy. Other sparkling wines (including Riccadonna, Odessa and Mondoro) grew organically by +49.9% driven by a strong trend of Mondoro in Russia, whilst still wines (mainly Sella&Mosca, Enrico Serafino and Teruzzi&Puthod) declined due to continued weakness in the Italian on premise channel.

 

In terms of soft drinks (5.3% of total sales), Crodino declined by -45.0% driven by destocking in connection with so called article 62 as well as weak trading conditions and consumption trend.

 

 

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Davide Campari-Milano SpA: What matters: Growth still lags peers

 

Source: Barclays

May 14th

 

Stock Rating/Industry View: Underweight/Neutral

Price Target: EUR 5.70 (from EUR 6.00)

Price (10-May-2013): EUR 6.17

Potential Upside/Downside: -8%

Tickers: CPR IM / CPRI.MI

 

What to do – retain Underweight, as discount is likely to widen: Campari remains the worst performing Spirits stock in our universe YTD and we expect this trend to continue while trading remains uncertain in its key European markets. Further, cost constraints at the gross margin level and marketing investments to counter its top-line pressures will result in lower earnings generation compared to its peers. We expect Campari to report F13e top-line growth of +2%, with only flat organic earnings; behind its peers which we expect to generate high-single digit top- and bottom-line growth. Subsequently, given the lower relative growth potential and earnings certainty we expect the shares to trade at a discount to its Spirits peers, rather than its current 3% PE premium (C14e PE on 17x).

 

What’s next – short-term outlook remains challenged: With the Q1 delivery impacted by a ?25mn destock in Italy, due to the change in payment terms regulation, and continued competitor pressures for Aperol in Germany, the market’s focus will be on the company’s ability to recover the lost sales in Q2/Q3. However, with tight credit conditions for domestic wholesalers and poor weather impacting underlying consumption trends, management does not expect to recover the destock entirely in Q2. Further, to help recover the lost share in Germany, Campari will lift its marketing spend significantly, reducing any chance of a potential margin over-delivery in Q2.

 

What we learnt – Europe a significant drag: Campari’s Q1 result missed market expectations by 19% at the EBIT level. Organic Group sales fell -9% with large misses in Italy, Germany and Australia. 65% of Campari’s key brand portfolio reported negative sales trends, with Aperol, soft drinks, and surprisingly Wild Turkey, particularly weak. Italian organic sales fell 26%, given the wholesaler destock, with underlying consumption trends still down -4%. German sales fell -20% given the continued pressures on Aperol from cheaper imitation products and poor weather, while sales in Australia fell a disappointing -11% as competitors promoted heavily in the bourbon and RTD categories.

 

What’s changed – weak margin outlook: We have downgraded our F13e and 14e earnings by -8% to account for the soft Q1 result, and weaker full year margins due to a higher-than-expected organic marketing investment and a stronger volume deleverage impact on organic Group margins. We subsequently reduce our price target to ?5.70.

 

 

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Vodka Maker’s Ch. 11 Plan OK’d Despite Shareholder Protest

 

Source: Law360

By Matt Chiappardi

May 13, 2013

 

A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Monday approved the Chapter 11 plan for vodka distributor Central European Distribution Corp. that slashes debt by $665 million but gives total control of the company to Russian billionaire Roustam Tariko over the objection of an Italian shareholder.

 

CEDC investor Eugenio Rainoldi will see his $3.3 million equity stake in the company wiped out with the confirmation and had argued that the process was somehow tainted with Tariko, who is also CEDC chairman and whose Roust Trading Ltd. already owns a 19.5 percent equity stake in the company, swooping in to take it over.

 

But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi rejected that reasoning Monday, ruling that the Russian billionaire’s influence over the prepackaged plan was tempered by the independent committee that negotiated it.

 

“This process was beyond reproach,” Judge Sontchi said in court. “Given the business reality in the case, there is no question Mr. Tariko had some leverage in his negotiations, but the special committee neutralized the power that he had.”

 

The prepackaged plan for the CEDC – a New Jersey-based holding company that encompasses vodka distilleries and alcohol distribution operations in Poland, Russia and other Eastern European countries – slashes the company’s debt by $665 million, per the funding agreement by which Roust would inject $172 million of new money into the company, forgive a previous $50 million loan and get full control over the reorganized company.

 

But all of the shareholders’ equity claims are wiped out in the bankruptcy plan, something that did not sit well with Rainoldi.

 

He accused Tariko, whose firm has interests in premium vodka and spirits distribution, of taking advantage of the bankruptcy process just to assume full control of CEDC.

 

“This is an individual who bought a minority stake and wanted to take over,” Rainoldi’s attorney, Alec P. Ostrow of Becker Glynn Muffly Chassin & Hosinki LLP said in court Monday. “He wanted to get the benefit of an increase in value all for himself.”

 

Ostrow also took issue with the speed of the case, after CEDC filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 7, calling the process, “a rush to get the plan through on unsuspecting shareholders.”

 

Attorneys for CEDC countered Monday that the hurried pace was necessary because the company was set to run out of money for its Russian operations by July and would be forced to begin liquidating.

 

CEDC’s attorney Jay Goffman of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP also argued that after the company pays secured debtors holding bonds scheduled to mature in 2013 and 2016, all of whom will be receiving reduced recoveries, there just wasn’t enough money left over for shareholders.

 

In the plan, creditors holding the outstanding 2013 notes would receive $55 million, recovering only 35.4 percent of their investments. Those holding the $982 million in 2016 notes will see an estimated recovery of at least 83.7 percent, receiving $172 million in cash, $450 million in new secured notes and $200 million in new convertible notes, according to CEDC.

 

All of the restructuring transactions are expected to close by the end of the month, the company said in a statement Monday.

 

CEDC, which has its roots in Poland, fell on hard times almost as soon as it entered the Russian market in 2008, right before the global economic crisis and an initiative by the Russian government to impose excise taxes on alcohol to cut down on consumption.

 

The taxes drove up prices, forcing CEDC to deeply discount its inventory in order to retain customers, the company said.

 

Tariko said Monday that CEDC will emerge from bankruptcy a stronger firm.

 

“The court’s approval of our financial restructuring is a very positive step forward for the company,” he said. “The company’s world-class brands are now able to continue to build on their success locally and globally and perform as category leaders.”

 

CEDC is represented by Scott Simpson, Jay Goffman, Mark McDermott, Mark Chehi and Sarah Pierce of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

 

Rainoldi is represented by Alec P. Ostrow of Becker Glynn Muffly Chassin & Hosinski LLP and Joseph H. Huston of Stevens & Lee PC.

 

The case is In re: Central European Distribution Corp., case No. 1:13-bk-10738, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

 

 

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Why AB InBev and Big Brewers Are Betting on Hard Cider

 

Source: Bloomberg

By Venessa Wong

May 13, 2013

 

For those who can’t get enough of that alcoholic apple juice we call hard cider, here comes more. On May 13, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) releases Stella Artois Cidre in the U.S., starting in 26 states. A nationwide rollout is planned for early next year. Cidre, pronounced cee-dra, first launched in the U.K. in 2011 and sold about 291,000 hectoliters (or about 247,980 U.S. barrels) at grocery and liquor stores there in the year ended March 30. The company hopes Americans’ budding love for cider will help Cidre take off in the U.S.

 

Why is cider seeing a revival in the U.S.? IBISWorld estimates that while brewers’ hard cider sales, which were $601.5 million in 2012, represent about 2 percent of total revenue, they’re growing rapidly. Sales increased an average 27.5 percent annually during the last five years. Such numbers don’t go unnoticed by big brewers: C&C Group acquired Vermont Hard Cider, MillerCoors bought Crispin, and Heineken added Strongbow to its portfolio.

 

Brewers say three main groups are driving demand: the young, craft beer crowd; the growing number of consumers avoiding gluten; and women.

 

Charles van Es, senior director of portfolio brands at Heineken USA, says the company’s cider buyers are largely 21- to 29-year-olds who are “adventurous with their beverage selection and drink more craft and upscale beer.” The craft beer boom has stirred up curiosity about life beyond Bud.

 

The perception that cider’s healthier should not be underestimated. Says Agata Kaczanowska, an analyst at IBISWorld: “At the core of the movement toward hard cider is the health consciousness of Americans. It is fruit-based, so people associate it with a more positive nutritional value.” The gluten-free food movement has given cider a boost, too, because the beverage is naturally gluten free. NPD found that 30 percent of adults claimed to cut down on or avoid gluten completely in January.

 

As for female consumers, “just like in the white wine category, they are very important,” says Rick Oleshak, director of Stella Artois in the U.S. “There’s probably more of a female opportunity within the cider category than there is within a high-end European beer.”

 

Rather than being pitched as an alternative to beer, Cidre, which claims to be drier than typical American ciders, will be marketed in the U.S. as an alternative to white wine. AB InBev’s only cider product in the U.S. until now was Michelob Ultra Light Cider, which launched in 2012 and currently represents 6.6 percent of the U.S. cider market. “We’re trying to reshape the category,” says Oleshak. “The opportunity is now.”

 

Cider sales are expected to grow in the next few years, Kaczanowska says, yet it’s difficult to tell if the beverage will be a passing fad. Still, she notes, the distribution power of AB InBev, MillerCoors, and Heineken can only help get it in front of more drinkers.

 

 

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Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries, United Spirits get Rs 91 crore service tax notice

 

Source: Press Trust of India

May 13 2013

 

Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) has issued a show-cause-cum-demand notices to Vijay Mallya-owned firms United Breweries and United Spirits Ltd, for allegedly evading service tax of Rs 91 crore.

 

“Both the firms have evaded the service tax on sponsoring various shows and sports events,” a senior DGCEI official said.

 

The notice is pertaining to sponsoring events like the Indian Premier League, East Bengal Football Team, Force India Team, Wills India Fashion Week, Mohan Bagan Team.

 

The notice issued to United Breweries is for the amount of Rs 21.7 crore, while that to United Spirit is of Rs 69.3 crore.

 

According to the officials, a DGCEI team had recently visited the Bangalore offices of both the firms.

 

Officials said that if the amount was not paid within a month, penalty of 25 per cent would be imposed on the total amount.

 

Meanwhile, United Spirits in its statement to PTI said that the DGCEI Mumbai has asked them to furnish the soft copy of the ledger extract of Advertisement & Sales Promotion expenses for the period 2007 – 08 to 2011 – 12.

 

“DGCEI has, without verifying the nature of the expenses accounted for in the ledger extract, considered the entire amount as ‘sponsorship services’ and have served the show cause notice on 23/4/13 for Rs.69.3 crore”, the statement said.

 

The company said that it was in the process of replying to the show cause notices by highlighting the “error”.

 

While United Breweries in its statement to PTI said that, “DGCEI Mumbai has issued show cause cum demand notices on various sponsorship payments like IPL, Force India, United East Bengal Football Team, etc for payments totalling to Rs.21.7 crore covering the period from Oct ’07 to Mar ’12, ignoring payment of service taxes already paid till date”.

 

The statement added that UB has been regular in paying service tax wherever applicable and they are in the process of filing replies and explanations shortly.

 

 

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GuestMetrics: Beer prices on the rise.though higher Craft beer prices driven by growing popularity of the more expensive Craft brands

 

Source: GuestMetrics

May 13th

 

According to GuestMetrics, the overall average price for beer in full service restaurants and bars accelerated during the first quarter of 2013, though higher average prices in the Craft beer segment was driven by more expensive craft beers becoming increasingly popular among consumers.  

 

“While beer’s price/mix was up +3.2% during 2012 compared to the prior year, that accelerated to +3.6% during the first quarter of 2013,” said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC.  “Looking specifically at the Craft beer segment, its price/mix was up +3.5% in 2012 and accelerated to +3.8% during the first quarter of 2013.  Additionally, looking at pricing in absolute terms, while Craft and Imports were generally at parity in 2011, the gap widened in 2012 as the price of Craft increased faster than that of Imports, and widened even further during the first quarter of 2013.  However, in analyzing the various price tiers within Craft, our analysis indicates that the increase in average prices was primarily the result of a mix effect as consumers increasingly chose more expensive Craft beers,” continued Pecoriello.  Based on data from GuestMetrics, the average Craft price was $5.42 vs. Import of $5.39 in 2011 for a 3-cent delta, Craft was $5.59 vs. Import of $5.52 in 2012 for a 7-cent delta, and during 1Q13, Craft was $5.72 vs. Import of $5.62 for a 10-cent delta.

 

“As we wrote about earlier in the year, the majority of growth among Craft beers in 2011 and 2012 was driven by the more expensive price tiers within Craft beers, and during 1Q13, this trend continued at an accelerated rate,” said Peter Reidhead, VP of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics. “Based on our data, while the most expensive brands within Craft, which we call Tier #1, accounted for 15% of Craft beers sold in 2011, that increased to 22% in 2012, and was 29% during the first quarter of 2013.  However, while there was a fairly dramatic trade-up taking place within Crafts, the average price paid within each of the four price tiers has remained largely unchanged over the past nine quarters.  Therefore, the increase in Craft price from $5.42 in 2011 to $5.59 in 2012 to $5.72 in 1Q13 was due almost exclusively to mix effect as consumers traded up to more expensive brands.”

 

“Given the rapid shifts taking place in on-premise and the beer category in particular, we believe this is a perfect example of why operators and suppliers need to have an up-to-date understanding of the changes taking place in consumer preferences,” said Brian Barrett, President of GuestMetrics.  Based on data from GuestMetrics, looking at the y/y growth of price/mix in 2012 and 1Q13 compared to their respective prior year periods, Premium Light price/mix accelerated from +2.2% to +3.2%, Premium Plus from +2.4% to +3.4%, and Premium Regular from +0.9% to +1.4%.       

 

 

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SAM: Minding Our Ks and Qs: Our Read of SAM’s Fiscal 1Q13 10-Q

 

Source: CITI

May 13th

 

SAM Tidbits – In their 1Q13 10-Q, published May 1, 2013, SAM provided information and forecasts related to its capital expenditures, purchase commitments, litigious developments, income tax audits, and capital lease requirements.

 

FCF Decreased Owing to Operating Cash Flow Usage – SAM generated negative free cash flow of $34.0 million in 1Q13, vs. the negative $13.2 million in free cash flow generated in 1Q12. The difference is attributable to the usage of operating cash flow in the current year (vs. OCF generation in 1Q12) and also to an increase in capital expenditures in 1Q13.

 

Investing Cash Flow Usage Increased – SAM used $21.1 million on investing activities in 1Q13, compared to the $15.0 million used on investing activities in the year-ago period (owing primarily to increased capital expenditures in the current year).

 

Financing Cash Flow Usage Increased – SAM used $8.2 million on financing activities in 1Q13 vs. $2.0 million generated in the year-ago period, a difference we attribute to an $11.0 million increase in share repurchases in the current year.

 

Conclusion – While we very much like much like SAM’s notable exposure to (and share of) the U.S. craft beer segment as well as the company’s expansion and success in new categories such as cider, we believe the company’s shares are fully-valued given that they are currently trading at roughly 25.5x our FY14 EPS estimate. As such, we maintain our $158 target price and Neutral rating on SAM.

 

 

——

This Map Shows Just How Much Your State Taxes the Beer You Drink

 

Source: Benzinga

Alex Biles, Benzinga Staff Writer

May 13, 2013

 

The Tax Foundation rolled out a new map last week looking at state excise tax rates on beer.

 

High tax rates are likely to affect major brewers like Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) and Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) than craft brewers, whose already high prices have drawn in a faithful who are willing to pay a premium.

 

The state with the lowest excise tax rate was Wyoming at $0.02, while Tennessee taxed beer the most at $1.17. How much does your state tax beer? Check out the map below (click to enlarge):

 

Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/general/politics/13/05/3580101/this-map-shows-just-how-much-your-state-taxes-the-beer-you-drink#ixzz2TFuyLya0

 

 

——

Woodford Reserve-themed room planned at Fort Knox

 

Source: Business First

David A. Mann

May 13th

 

Officials at Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp. plan to celebrate the opening of a Woodford Reserve Room at The Saber and Quill Club at Fort Knox on Wednesday.

 

It will be the first-of-its-kind branded room on a military post, according to a media advisory for the event.

 

The room will feature bourbon barrels around and above a bar as well as images from the Woodford Reserve Distillery, the advisory said. The hope is, with the many troops who come through Fort Knox as a duty station or for training, that they will take away a little piece of bourbon country and the Woodford Reserve brand with them.

 

Joe Bollinger, director of military and transportation for Brown-Forman is among speakers at the event, which will also include a ribbon cutting for the room.

 

 

——

The CDC Goes To War Against Wine (Excerpt)

 

Source: Forbes

May 13th

 

The May 2 editorial in Pennsylvania’s Scranton Times Tribune, said it all: “Perdition just a vote away.” The plan by Governor Tom Corbett to end the state’s monopoly on wine and spirits sales has triggered hellish prognostications from a constellation of groups who argue that the best way to prevent alcohol abuse is to have the government sell it reluctantly.

 

“This reckless scheme will put alcohol on every street corner and increase crime,” said a million-dollar ad campaign paid for by the United Food & Commercial Workers,” a union with 3,000 members at risk of losing their monopoly.

 

“I’m a clinician, not a politician, and I don’t think we should privatize because I think it will work – there will be an increase in alcohol sales,” Deb Beck, the president of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers of Pennsylvania, ” said at a Senate hearing on the bill (as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer). “And why in the world,” she continued, “would we want to increase access to something that causes so many problems?

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorbutterworth/2013/05/13/the-cdc-goes-to-war-against-wine/

 

 

——

LAURENT-PERRIER (=) . VRANKEN POMMERY (-)

 

Source: Exane BNP

May 13th

 

The bubble monitor – Self-inflicted pain?

 

LAURENT-PERRIER (=) TP: EUR69 . Upside: 5%

Beverages (-) . France . Price (09 May. 13): EUR65.6

 

VRANKEN POMMERY (-) TP: EUR18 . Downside: 13%

Beverages (-) . France . Price (09 May. 13): EUR20.7

 

Champagne shipments down 12% in March against a very easy comp

At Q1 sales release, Vranken-Pommery indicated that March had been a weak month for the champagne market. Indeed. Global champagne shipments declined 12% in March, the worst monthly performance since March last year, when volumes already sunk 16%.

 

Unsurprising yet worrying deterioration in France (-17% y/y)

Shipments to France were down 17%, the second worst monthly decline since Feb 2009. Whilst we acknowledge the volatility of monthly data, we cannot help but notice that the volume decline at champagne houses is even worse (-23%, one of the worst performances ever).

 

Self-inflicted pain or competitive pressure from cooperatives?

We believe that part of the volume decline from champagne houses in France is a necessary self-inflicting pain as the likes of Vranken-Pommery end their non-profitable distribution contracts (essentially in the off-trade). It is hard however to disaggregate this voluntary volume loss from the underlying weakness of demand. Our channel checks suggested price rises of 1-2% in March vs. February at the retail level in France for Pommery and Laurent-Perrier. This could potentially explain why cooperatives are gaining share (volumes up 16% in Q1 in France vs. -14% for champagne houses.) We shall know in the coming months.

 

Risk rises with French exposure; stay away from champagne for now

With France accounting for 52% and 23% of Vranken and Laurent-Perrier sales respectively, our relative preference still goes to Laurent-Perrier (Neutral) vs. Vranken-Pommery (Underperform) given its higher exposure to non-European markets. However, we believe a continuation of these very weak trends in France could potentially lead to consensus cuts for both companies. With Vranken-Pommery and Laurent-Perrier trading on 19.4x and 17.4x CY13e earnings, we clearly see better opportunities elsewhere in the sector.

 

 

——

South Africa Wine Exports Setting Records on China Demand

 

Source: Bloomberg

By Guy Collins

May 13, 2013

 

South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

 

Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show. Bulk shipments rose 53 percent while those of bottled and packaged wines fell 5 percent, as large producers bottled more in export markets.

 

Although wine has been grown in South Africa since Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, the country was cut off from trade during the apartheid era of racial discrimination, which ended in 1994 with the first all-race elections. Two decades on, exporters are seeking to consolidate in established markets such as the U.K. and Germany while boosting sales in Asia and Africa.

 

“If you think about South Africa’s history, we’ve been making wine for 350 years but it’s only really since 1994 that we’ve actively pursued the export market, that we’ve been welcome and accepted,” Johan Erasmus, general manager of the Glen Carlou winery in the Paarl Valley north east of Cape Town, said at a London tasting in March. “We are much more in touch with consumers worldwide.”

 

A wet winter meant plenty of underground water, helping to boost yields in 2013, according to Su Birch, Chief Executive Officer at WOSA. Yields at the 2012 harvest rose to 14.13 metric tons per hectare (2.471 acres), the highest for at least six years, and probably climbed to about 14.90 tons this year, according to estimates based on preliminary data from WOSA.

Export Outlook

 

WOSA’s September forecast was for wine exports this year of between 430 million and 440 million liters, after a record 409 million in 2012. A combination of high yields, more marketing in the U.S. and elsewhere and global demand for bulk wine means that’s already looking too low. “It depends what the rand does,” Birch said by phone from Stellenbosch last month, predicting full-year exports of about 460 million liters.

 

The currency is near a four-year low against the dollar, helping exporters. It has weakened 7.1 percent this year, the most among 245 major emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Leading export brands include First Cape, Kumala and Distell Group Ltd. (DST)’s Fleur du Cap.

 

Premium Market

 

Still, costs in South Africa are rising. The government boosted the minimum wage for farmworkers by 52 percent to 105 rand ($11.51) a day from March 1 after strikes in wine-growing areas in the Western Cape province began in November and turned violent, prompting the police to respond with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons. Some vineyards were torched.

 

In the premium market, defined by WOSA as wines above $10 a bottle, a shift by growers to more Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and other international grapes following the end of apartheid and to proportionately less Chenin Blanc, a French varietal popular in South Africa, has helped boost brand appeal.

 

The proportion of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, a classic Bordeaux grape, tripled to 12 percent in 2011, the latest year for which figures were available, from 4 percent in 1990, according to WOSA.

 

Sauvignon Blanc climbed to 10 percent from 4 percent while Shiraz, also known as Syrah and associated with France’s Rhone Valley, rose to 10 percent from 1 percent and Merlot jumped to 6 percent, also from 1 percent. Pinotage, a hybrid between pinot noir and cinsaut developed locally, has also increased its plantings, although outpaced by Shiraz and Chardonnay.

 

Producers growing international grapes include Glen Carlou, a 28-year-old winery owned by Swiss-based Hess Family Estates, whose range includes Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Bordeaux Varietals

 

Oldenburg Vineyards in Stellenbosch grows Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot as well as Syrah, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.

 

“It’s not so much a yield game, it’s more a quality game,” said Oldenburg’s owner Adrian Vanderspuy while visiting London in March. “We aim to be at the premium end.”

 

Even as Europe remains South Africa’s biggest export destination, with between 60 percent and 70 percent of sales, Vanderspuy said the market on both sides of the Atlantic is changing amid demand for higher-quality wines.

 

“We’re not necessarily going for the supermarkets” in the U.S., Vanderspuy said. “The whole category of South Africa is growing. Our first shipment of wine has just gone to Shanghai.”

Shelf Space

 

The U.K. took the biggest share of South Africa’s wine exports last year with 22 percent and Germany was second with 19 percent, according to WOSA. While shipments of South African bottled wine to the U.K. and the U.S. fell in the five years to 2011, they rose sixfold to 4.28 million bottles in China and almost tripled to 3.44 million in Nigeria.

 

With exports rising, South Africa is still battling for shelf space. Its share of wines imported into the U.S. was 1.2 percent last year, down from about 8 percent in the 1990s, according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute and George Monyemangene, South Africa’s consul-general in New York.

 

In August Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, started selling South African wines in the U.S. after spending $1.8 billion in 2011 buying 51 percent of Johannesburg-based Massmart Holdings Ltd. (MSM), Africa’s biggest food and goods wholesaler.

 

Not all wineries plant just classic French grapes, even if they are aiming for foreign markets. At Da Capo Vineyards in Stellenbosch, founded by Milan-born Alberto Bottega in 1998, his son Roberto said Italian varieties Nebbiolo, San Giovese and Barbera grow alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

 

“South Africa is in a unique position,” Bottega, who promotes his father’s estate, said at a London tasting. “Our wines are somewhere between the old world and the new.”

 

 

——

Markets respond to ‘stunning’ 2011 Ports

 

Source: the drinks business

by Gabriel Savage

13th May, 2013

 

Port producers are reporting significant demand from markets worldwide in the wake of their superlative-fuelled 2011 vintage declarations.

 

Just two weeks since his company declared its 2011s and with the main US push not due to start until next month, Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, confirmed: “Around the world there is strong interest.”

 

In addition to healthy demand from established markets, Bridge highlighted recent efforts to reach new customers. “Our own company opened up five new markets in South America last year,” he told attendees of a 2011 vintage Port tasting organised in London by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

 

Explaining the reason for this healthy interest in the 2011 declarations, he told the drinks business: “It’s a convergence of factors: a great vintage at a time when Bordeaux is selling 2012 en primeurs that are perhaps not as exciting as previous years. So you’re looking at lacklustre Bordeaux versus something stunning come out of the Douro.”

 

Meanwhile Christian Seely, managing director of AXA Millésimes, who manages both Quinta do Noval – which finally declared yesterday, including the first Nacional declaration since 2003 – and his own property Quinta da Romaneira, stressed the enormous value offered by Vintage Port.

 

“The best ones are equivalent to premier cru Bordeaux,” he told db. “It’s such an absurd steal that it doesn’t matter so much what the rest of the fine market’s like at the moment.”

 

However, Seely predicted that the market could soon wake up to this value. “It could easily be about to change,” he observed. “The sharpest investors don’t always look back but ahead. With the expanding world wine market, the big names like Bordeaux are the first thing to be discovered but eventually people discover more exotic aspects of the wine world.”

 

For Bridge, the quality and accompanying high profile of 2011 looks set to highlight not just the value of this vintage, but also older Ports on the market.

 

“I’d like to think there’ll be some price appreciation on this vintage, but it’s sure to put the spotlight on previous years,” he commented. “People will see that Taylors 2011 is £60 but £75 gets you Taylor’s ’85. We will see a reflection onto previous vintages.”

 

However, with prices for the 2011 vintage only slightly higher than Fladgate’s last declaration of 2009, Bridge stressed a desire to avoid the inflation that has affected Bordeaux in recent years.

 

“Vintage Port is the icing on the cake,” he acknowledged of the category’s relatively minor role in both collectors’ cellars and Fladgate’s own sales figures. “We could charge more but we’re very conscious that our main business is the LBV and other styles.”

 

However, he noted: “We do like to leave something for the consumer – the difficulty for Bordeaux is that it’s sucked out every bit of cash in the system so the end consumer might not see much price appreciation.”

 

 

——

Quinta do Noval latest house to declare 2011 vintage

 

Source: Harpers

Written by Chris Mercer   

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

 

Quinta do Noval has added its name to the plethora of port producers declaring a vintage for 2011.

 

Alongside declaring its 2011 ‘classic’ Noval vintage, Quinta do Noval has also taken the rare step of declaring its Nacional Vintage, something it has not done since 2003.

 

Over the past month, the much-vaunted 2011 vintage has been widely declared by major Port houses, many of which believe the year could be the best for a generation.

 

“Immediately after the foot treading in the lagares that September, we knew we were in the presence of what could be a great vintage year,” said Quinta do Noval managing director Christian Seely.

 

“The 2011 wines – many made from our replanted sites, now well into maturity – showed excellent aromas, with the true deep rich colour we look for in a wine with magnificent ageing potential,” he said.

 

It was not always so clear that 2011 would turn out well, however. The group said erratic weather through spring and summer, including a prolonged dry

spell in the final weeks before harvest, caused uncertainty among the winemaking team until the very last moments.

 

 

——

Chateau La Fleur Jonquet sold to Chinese architect

 

Source: Decanter

by Chris Mercer

Monday 13 May 2013

Chinese architect Wengcheng Li has acquired Chateau La Fleur Jonquet in Graves.

 

La Fleur Jonquet will become Li’s third wine property in Bordeaux, where he already owns Chateau La Dominante, in Saint–Denis de Pile and Chateau Lucas in Castillon-la-Bataille.

 

The deal for the nine-hectare Fleur Jonquet, a family business based in Arbanats and Portets, is another example of Chinese investors moving into Bordeaux wine production.   

 

‘Everything will continue as before,’ Fleur Jonquet cellarmaster Eric Jouin told Decanter.com, adding that he and others will remain in their posts.

 

La Fleur Jonquet’s winemaker and newly ex-owner, Laurence Lataste, could not be immediately reached for comment. However, she was quoted as telling the Sud Ouest newspaper that she decided to sell because none of her three children wanted to take the Chateau on.

 

She added that the chateau exports 75% of its annual production, which is around 50,000 bottles.

 

A third generation winemaker, Lataste founded the chateau in 1986, originally calling it Junquet. It has vines more than 80 years old, some of the oldest in Graves.

 

 

——

Bordeaux 2012: Smith Haut-Lafitte, Pichon Baron drop 10% on 2011

 

Source: Decanter

by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

Monday 13 May 2013

 

Smith Haut-Lafitte and Pichon Baron head a fresh flurry of Bordeaux 2012 wine releases, as this year’s campaign continues to lack vigour.

 

After a pause for French bank holidays, the Bordeaux 2012 campaign has restarted with a few high profile chateaux bringing the total number of released prices to nearly 70% of the expected total.

 

Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte brought its red wine out at a drop of 10.53% on last year, to ?40.80 ex-Bordeaux, while keeping its white wine unchanged at ?57.50.

 

Chateau Pichon Baron de Longueville and Chateau Clos Fourtet both saw a similar discount, down by 10% to ?65 and ?45 respectively ex-Bordeaux.

 

Chateau Calon Ségur dropped by just 3% to ?38.40, but after a significant fall in 2011 from ?57.60 in 2010. The estate is under new ownership this year, with a small investment from the Moueix family of Pétrus, and is reported to have sold out quickly.

 

‘Calon is always a strong brand,’ one courtier told Decanter.com, ‘and it has been one of the few wines this year that sold through immediately upon release.

 

‘Pichon Baron, in contrast, has not been so well received. It’s more expensive than other comparable vintages on the market, such as the 2006, and almost the same price as the 2011. It’s not helping what is an already difficult campaign.’

 

Several smaller estates have also released at the start of this week, including: Pedesclaux at ?19.20 ex-Bordeaux, down 5.88%; Fayat at ?16.5, down 1.44%; Capbern Gasqueton at ?10.8, down 4.26%; and Clos Puy Arnaud at ?13.50 down 1.74%.

 

 

——

Rupert Murdoch buys Moraga Vineyards estate in Bel Air

 

Source: LA Times

By Meg James

May 10, 2013

 

Rupert Murdoch has just popped the cork on a deal to buy a rare trophy property in Los Angeles: the 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate, located in the hills above Bel Air.

 

The billionaire media mogul announced his purchase on Twitter on Friday afternoon: “About to celebrate buying beautiful small vineyard right in LA. Great wine, Moraga, owned by great Angelino, Tom Jones, Time cover, 1961!”

 

Murdoch did not reveal the purchase price.

 

The listing price for the Santa Monica Mountains property, which can be glimpsed from the 405 Freeway, was just a tasteful sip below $30 million, according to The Times’ Daily Dish blog.

 

Jim Kline, the listing agent with Surterre Properties of Newport Beach, declined to comment on the sale when reached Friday night. Kline confirmed the listing price was $29.5 million.

 

The Hollywood Reporter first reported in February that Murdoch was sniffing around the property after reading about the vineyard in one of his company’s properties, the Wall Street Journal.

 

A spokesperson for Murdoch declined to comment Friday.

 

According to the winery’s website, Moraga was the first commercial winery to be bonded in the city of Los Angeles after Prohibition ended in 1933.

 

In the 1930s and 1940s, the property was a horse ranch owned by Victor Fleming, the director of such Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer classics as “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Fleming began developing the property in 1937 and completed it in 1940 after finishing “The Wizard of Oz.”

 

Such Hollywood luminaries as Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh, Ingmar Bergman and Spencer Tracy were frequently invited to the estate.

 

Tom Jones, the most recent property owner, is former chief executive of the Northrop Corp., a position he held for 30 years. He was featured on the cover of an issue of Time magazine 52 years ago.

 

Jones and his wife, Ruth, bought the 16-acre property in 1959. They have lived there since then.

 

Elevation of the vineyard, which sits five miles from the Pacific Ocean, is 600 to 900 feet. Annual rainfall is 24 inches, compared with 15 inches in downtown Los Angeles.

 

When Jones learned Moraga Canyon had deep gravel soil, he was intrigued enough to try growing some Bordeaux varietals on his land – Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Moraga wines are sold in some of Los Angeles’ toniest restaurants, including the Bel Air Country Club, the Beverly Hills Hotel, Patina, Spago, and Morton’s Steakhouse.

 

According to Forbes magazine, Murdoch’s net worth is estimated at $11.2 billion.

 

 

——

Restaurant sales hit record high in April

 

Source: NRA

May 13, 2013

 

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy reports on April sales and some new consumer survey data.  Restaurant sales bounced back from a dampened first quarter to hit a new record high in April.  Meanwhile, consumers’ pent-up demand for restaurants remains historically high, which suggests they will be ready to ramp up spending even more when their financial situation improves.

 

Restaurant sales hit a new record high in April, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Eating and drinking place sales totaled $45.9 billion in April on a seasonally-adjusted basis, up 0.8 percent from March and approximately $200 million above the previous high registered in December 2012.

 

After totaling nearly $45.7 billion in December, eating and drinking place sales were dampened somewhat during the first three months of 2013, likely due in part to the impact of the payroll tax hike.  On a cumulative basis, eating and drinking place sales in the first quarter were roughly $850 million short of December’s baseline level.

 

While spending appears to have generally bounced back from the first quarter’s downtick, new NRA survey data shows the potential is there for even more improvements in the months ahead.  In a national survey of 1,000 adults conducted April 25-28 for the NRA by ORC International, consumers were asked if they are using restaurants as often as they would like.

 

The answer was a resounding no, with 49 percent of adults reporting they are not eating on the premises of restaurants as frequently as they would like.  This indicator of pent-up demand was even more pronounced among middle-aged consumers, with 59 percent of 35-to-44-year olds and 54 percent of 45-to-54-year olds saying they aren’t eating out as often as they would like.  Women (54 percent) were more likely than men (44 percent) to say they would like to dine out more often.

 

The story is similar for the off-premises market, with 51 percent of adults saying they are not purchasing take-out or delivery as often as they would like.  Like the on-premises responses, women (55 percent) were more likely than men (46 percent) to say they would like to be utilizing take-out and delivery options more frequently.

 

These new survey results suggest that once consumers are feeling more confident about their personal financial situation, they will be primed to burn off some of their accumulated pent-up demand for restaurants.

 

 

——

Pennsylvania: Pa. senators to hear from beer, liquor sellers

 

Source: ABC 27

Posted: May 14, 2013

 

State senators will continue exploring the liberalization of Pennsylvania’s wine, beer and liquor laws in a second hearing that’ll focus on groups that make and sell alcoholic beverages.

 

The Senate hearing Tuesday afternoon is the second of 3 planned hearings, as Gov. Tom Corbett pushes his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature to expand the sale of alcohol to more outlets.

 

A bill passed the House in March that would create 1,200 new private wine and liquor store licenses and allow thousands of bars, restaurants and grocery stores to begin selling bottles of wine.

 

Among the people testifying in front of the Senate Law and Justice Committee are expected to be representatives of beer distributors, bars, restaurants, wineries and more. Corbett wants a bill on his desk by July 1.

 

 

——

Virginia: Wine distributor uncorks expansion plan

 

Source: Richmond Biz Sense

David Larter

May 10, 2013

 

Hanover County is about to catch a wine buzz.

 

Wine distributor Republic National Distributing Company will build a 200,000-plus-square-foot facility in Ashland off Elletts Crossing Road, near the new Vitamin Shoppe warehouse center.

 

Republic National President Tom Cole confirmed the move Thursday.

 

“We’re very happy to be expanding our presence in Virginia,” Cole said.

 

Gary Archuleta, executive vice president with Republic National, said that the distribution center is in the design phase but that it will be more than 200,000 square feet with room for expansion.

 

“We are acquiring the land, and right now we are in the due diligence process,” he said.

 

The center is being developed by an internal group at the company, Archuleta said.

 

He said he could not give an accurate cost of development because the project has yet to be bid out.

 

Republic National currently occupies a 160,000-square-foot space in Sandston at 5401 Eubank Road. The company has about 300 employees in the area. It does not plan to immediately add jobs related to the move but will as needed over time, Archuleta said.

 

The company primarily distributes wine and sells about 3 million cases per year, Archuleta said. (That’s 36 million bottles of wine)

 

Republic National distributes dozens of brands, including such household names as Sutter Home, Woodbridge, Black Box, Little Penguin and Franzia.

 

“We’ve had several successful years back to back,” Archuleta said. “We’re in a position now where we have to expand in order to maintain the current volume we have.”

 

The 22-acre parcel of land is directly south of the Vitamin Shoppe parcel and is currently owned by Virginia Truck Center of Richmond, according to Hanover County records. BizSense was unable to reach anyone at Virginia Truck Center for comment.

 

The site is near the split of Washington Highway and Elletts Crossing Road and is visible from Interstate 95. It was most recently assessed at about $960,000, according to county records.

 

Hanover County Economic Development Director Edwin Gaskin said via email that he could not comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

 

According to Archuleta, the company has been in Virginia since March 1997.

 

Its neighbor Vitamin Shoppe’s 300,000-square-foot distribution center, which is under construction and will add 170 jobs to the county.

 

The Republic National news is the latest in a string of big announcements for Hanover County.

 

The state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is building its new headquarters there. And plans are in place for a 392,000-square-foot outlet mall developed by California-based Craig Realty Group.

 

 

——

Turkey: Turkey considers tighter limits on alcohol sale and consumption

 

Source: Reuters

By Humeyra Pamuk

Mon, May 13 2013

 

The Turkish government has prepared a draft law that would ban advertising alcoholic drinks in what officials say is an effort to protect children but could further divide religious and secularist Turks.

 

The bill, which was sent to parliament on Friday, would also ban companies that produce alcohol from sponsoring events, restrict where alcoholic drinks are sold and consumed, and require Turkish producers to place health warnings on packaging.

 

“Our aim is to protect society, particularly children and youth from taking up these habits at an early age, and not to limit an adult’s alcohol consumption,” Yahya Akman, a lawmaker in the ruling AK Party and one of the draft’s signatorees, told Reuters on Monday.

 

The move was made only weeks after the conservative prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, who is known for his dislike of alcohol, declared ayran, a non-alcoholic, yogurt refreshment as the national drink.

 

It follows a ban on drinks service on several routes flown by state-run Turkish Airlines.

 

Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol. Although Turkey’s population is 99 percent Muslim, it has a secular constitution. It belongs to NATO and is a candidate for European Union membership.

 

Many secularist-minded Turks fear tighter rules on drinking could undermine the separation of state and religion.

 

The bill, expected to become a law before parliament recesses in July, would bar venues that allow the sale and consumption of alcohol from openly displaying the products to people outside.

 

The government says it is not attempting to interfere in people’s lives and is trying to bring Turkey up to European norms by controlling alcohol sales and protecting the younger generation as it negotiates to enter the EU.

 

“This is to make sure that alcohol consumption is not encouraged among young people. The state has a responsibility to protect the family and the public,” Akman said.

 

Passage of the law would also be another blow to local brewers that are already grappling with taxes that are more than 100 percent on alcohol, one of the highest in the world.

 

Akman said public health is a higher priority than companies’ revenues.

 

“A company’s profit is insignificant when compared with the health of the general public, which is what’s at stake here.”

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One Response to “Liquor Industry News 5-14-13”

  1. staceywaldron Says:

    Wow, so much news to take in! Congrats to the South Africa Wines on their record setting exports to China.

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