European brewers who have failed to target emerging markets are coming under increasing pressure. Volumes are threatened by shrinking populations and a shift in taste among younger drinkers to wine and spirit-based products. Meanwhile supermarkets are slicing deep into profit margins with big discounts. Heineken last month reported a 33% drop in full-year 2004 profits, while Scottish & Newcastle is struggling in France. InBev and SABMiller have already expanded into Russia and China, while Carlsberg have plans to invest heavily in the former Soviet Union. S&N is also developing its position in a number of fast-growing markets with investments in India and China. The Business 27/03/05 page 16

Topics