Lion bucking beer market’s decline

05 November, 2012 by

By James Atkinson 

Lion's Australian Beer, Spirits & Wine division continues to deliver moderate volume and revenue growth in challenging market conditions, the company says.

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In its trading update for the nine months to June 30, Lion said year-to-date volumes in the alcohol business increased 1.3 per cent, leading to a 3.9 percent revenue increase to $1.34 billion.

 "This was achieved against the backdrop of a beer market that declined 5.1 per cent over the same period and in part reflects decisions by international brand owners to partner with Lion in the Australian market, including Corona Extra and Stella Artois, which joined the portfolio in the third quarter," Lion said.

The company said its cider innovations are performing strongly, while international wine sales continue to be hampered by the high Australian dollar.

"XXXX GOLD, now Australia's largest beer, continues to grow volume and value share off a large base and the Hahn Super Dry trademark is performing strongly," it said.

"XXXX Summer Bright Lager, now a scale brand, maintained its double-digit volume and value growth trajectory." 

"Lion's James Squire trademark continued to drive growth in the craft market, posting volume and value growth now over 60 per cent."

The alcohol result was against the backdrop of a disastrous showing by the company's Dairy & Drinks business. Volumes in that segment declined 13.3 percent, translating to a 9.9 per cent fall in revenue to $1.92 billion.