On just-drinks last week:
- The industry mourned the loss of one of its great characters last week after it was announced Patrick Ricard, Pernod Ricard's chairman, had died suddenly of a suspected heart attack. just-drinks paid tribute to Patrick and his "exceptional" impact on the global spirits landscape. An old interview with Pernod's talisman can also be read here
- Heineken reported subdued half-year figures, as its core European markets performed sluggishly. CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer admitted to investors Europe is still not an easy region to operate in. Meanwhile, much of the media's attention was caught by the Dutch brewer's on-going battle for Asia Pacific Breweries
- Times are good for Coca-Cola Amatil after it announced a strong set of H1 numbers. A healthy
performance in Indonesia and Papa New Guinea, coupled with improved trading in Australia, helped boost profits. Meanwhile, the group also revealed details of its plan to return to brewing in Australia, starting at the end of next year.
- Growth in emerging markets continue to help Diageo, which last week reported a strong set of full-year numbers. Despite continued problems in Southern Europe the group was not held back, announcing a 21.7% jump in profits to GBP3.16bn. CEO Paul Walsh was predictably asked to comment over Jose Cuervo, but played his cards close to his chest with the press pack. Analysts meanwhile suggested Diageo could benefit from other deals in Mexico in its potential hunting down of Cuervo.
- Diageo's Walsh also argued that women are currently being let down by the range of drinks on offer in the market and that marketing still has too much of a male voice. However, he said the group is addressing the issue, including the launch of new apple-flavoured RTD in Kenya, called Snapp.