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Wed 11th Nov 2015 - Heineken reports 87% sales boost from Rugby World Cup
Heineken – Rugby World Cup produced 87% YoY increase in sales: Heineken’s has argued the Rugby World Cup came at the perfect time for pubs and bars and helped combat the post-summer lull for the on-trade. Andrew Turner, who is the company’s category and trade marketing director, told Propel that while Heineken did very well out of the tournament, the most important thing was about driving trade into its customers’ venues. Heineken staged a multi-million-pound campaign with about 5,000 pubs and bars to promote the tournament and encourage increased footfall. It saw an 87% increase in sales year-on-year in the on-trade during September and October with its own Star Pubs & Bars estate recording a 20-30% uplift in sales during the competition. Approximately 2.5 million pints of Heineken were also consumed in stadiums and fan parks throughout the tournament. Turner said: “We did an extremely good job leveraging the Rugby World Cup with our customers but without them it wouldn’t have been successful. What was good for the on-trade was it (the Rugby World Cup) came at a time when there can be a bit of a lull. You have that barren period in the run-up to Christmas but the tournament was a good excuse for people to go down the pub and watch a game. What we tried to do with our campaign was create an end-to-end journey for the on-trade. We concentrated on driving people into pubs and bars by creating a fantastic experience and we have had some great feedback from the customers we worked with who ranged from independents to multi-national companies. They had some pretty good sales. I’m confident that the legacy that has been left is a very good one and something to build on with Christmas just around the corner.” Heineken has been involved in the Rugby World Cup for about 20 years. Its campaign included taking the trophy to pubs and bars around the country, the chance to win the opportunity to be at the coin toss of one of the matches as well as providing point of sale materials for its customers. Turner added: “The Rugby World Cup attracted people to the pub who would not normally have gone. What we have to do in the on-trade is give people a good excuse to go down the pub.”

Carlsberg begins UK business review: Carlsberg UK has begun a transformation programme across its business in order to create an agile organisation and deliver long-term profitability. The company plans to restructure its commercial organisation, in order to give greater focus to its brands and shift focus to drive value. Part of the changes include proposals to reduce the size of its production team within its Northampton brewery to meet future volume requirements, and the commencement of a formal review of its customer supply chain operations. This work has started and employees have been notified of the proposed changes within its Northampton brewery, Leeds office and 12 regional customer distribution depots. The transformation programme is being led by interim chief executive officer Michiel J Herkemij and delivered by the UK executive team. Herkemij said: “One of the biggest challenges in the UK beer market is significant over capacity, driving short-term behaviour in the market place. By making these proposed changes, we can control costs and build our brands and drinks portfolio. Removing the pressure to solely focus on volume will drive greater value for our business and for our customers. Unfortunately the proposed restructuring process may result in redundancies in some areas of the business and we will support the impacted employees through the consultation period. By making these changes we will ensure the best possible future for our business. We will be agile and responsive and play a better role in brewing and wholesaling, now and in the longer-term.”

UK beer sales up 3.9% in quarter three: UK beer sales rebounded strongly in quarter three, with a 3.9% improvement on the same quarter in 2014, according to the latest figures from the British Beer & Pub Association’s quarterly Beer Barometer. Boosted by retailers stocking up in readiness for the Rugby World Cup, off-trade sales were astonishingly buoyant, rising by 9% from July to September, and recording the highest ever quarter three sales. Though on-trade sales showed a small decline of 1.2%, the long term trend still shows stabilising volumes after years of sharp decline. In terms of the annual trend, total beer sales are relatively stable, at 0.4% below the previous 12 months, following more challenging figures in the first six months of the year. Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Congratulations to Britain brewers on a very strong quarter of sales in what is one of the UK’s most vital manufactured goods. There is a real opportunity to build on these strong figures and secure future growth, with continued action to reduce beer duty. Despite positive action from the government, with three, one penny duty cuts in recent years, duty still places far too great a burden on British brewers and beer drinkers when compared to our main competitors in the European Union. With further tax cuts we can create jobs and protect pubs, where beer is the cornerstone of sales.”
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