Catalan beer company Grup Damm prioritises internationalisation in 2012

Demetrio Carceller, President of the company considers that internationalisation will be a priority in the new strategy plan that the Catalan company is preparing for next year.

CNA / Júlia Nuix

July 15, 2011 11:40 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Company activity during 2010 was “positive” in spite of the “anaemic” situation regarding consumption. The decrease in sales in bars and restaurants has been “widely” compensated by the increase of sales in larger establishments and private branding, which has allowed Damm to gain a market share of up to 25% of the Spanish market. The priority in years to come is internationalisation, according to the President.

General Director Jorge Villavecchia explained that the results achieved in 2010 were considered satisfactory in spite of the decrease in family consumption and the consumption per capita, which has been decreasing over the last four consecutive years and is now 10% lower than at the same time five years ago.

With regard to the results of this year’s second term, the President of the group said that they hope to equal the results obtained during the same period in 2010. A decrease in consumption was mainly the case in bars and restaurants, because of the economic crisis. On the contrary, this fall was compensated by a great sales performance in supermarkets and shopping centres, where sales have increased for the fifth consecutive year.

Going public

Going public has been in the minds of the board of directors over the past few years and now it looks like it is probably going to happen. President Demetrio Carceller acknowledged that a capitalisation of 1,500 million euros should allow the company to do so. Carceller said that they must work in this direction in 2012 if the shareholder’s general meeting approves it.

In relation to the future of the company, Carceller explained that this year the strategy plan for 2008-2011 comes to an end, which means that a constant period of investment of 600 million euros since 2004 will be closed. One of the most important investments during this period was the Santarem factory in Portugal, which started in 2009. Production in this factory represents 10% of the total.

Two years delay in internationalisation

Carceller explained that the future of the company lies in internationalisation and said that the new strategy plan defined for the 2012-2015 period must be used to correct the “two years delay” that the company has in its international expansion. The President said that the international markets where the group’s activity is a priority, must be the United States, the United Kingdom, Africa and Asia.

For this international expansion, Grup Damm will be helped by Ebro Foods, in which Damm has 9.55% of the shares and hopes to reach 10% in the short term. Carceller explained that the support and knowledge of Ebro Food, which has a turnover of 94% of their production abroad is essential to enter the United States and the United Kingdom markets. In 2010, Group Damm placed a second director, August Oetker, on the Board.

Rise of participation of the importer USB

Another indication of the need to consolidate internationalization was the adquisition of a minority participation of 17.5% in the company USB, a beer importer in the United States, which it is hoped could rise to 35%. Carceller said that this participation of 17.5% could mean an investment of around 2 million euros, although the president did not specify figures.

The shareholder’s general meeting approved an increase in capital this year and now offers a new share for every 30 old shares. Dividend profitability was at 16.45 cents per share, which meant an increase of 8.13% compared to profitability achieved in 2009.

“Mediterràniament” advert receives one million downloads

Regarding the advert “Mediterràniament” for the 2011 season directed by Isabel Coixet and produced in the culinary school “El Bulli”, Demetrio Carceller said that the number of downloads from Youtube has reached one million, which shows the enormous success that the campaign is having for the third year in a row. The advert this year features cook Ferran Adrià and the actress Elena Anaya.