The European Brewing Industry
- Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic will join within five years- these countries have young populations with a desire for all things Western.
- ING Barings predicts growth in these economies to average 8% p.a. over the decade after which they join the EU.
- Europe is moving towards becoming a single market with a stable political environment.
- The current pressure on Europe from America and Australia to reduce agriculture subsidies could result in a change in the industry’s raw material supply base.
- VAT & Duty rates vary across Europe- VAT ranges from 15% in Luxembourg to 22% in Finland , while UK duty levels are seven times higher than those in France .
- Per Capita GDP in Europe has risen from $11,500 in 1989 to $16,800 in 1999 . GDP growth for 2000 is estimated to be 2.8% .
- Many stocks are now traded in Euros- investors can compare stocks across Europe easily and see which companies are lagging against their competitors.
- EMU has lowered interest rates- Spanish companies can now access the same interest rates as German companies, compared to four years ago when they paid 4.5 percentage points more in interest than German companies . This creates a level playing field for all European companies seeking access to capital.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- The value of M&A activity in the EU is $1.3 trillion per annum- a 400% increase on 1994 - this is leading to a pan-European economy.
Energy Costs & Availability
- Deregulation of state monopolies has brought more competition among suppliers and a fall in the price of gas and electricity.
Social & Cultural Environment
- World population is expected to grow from 6bn now to 9bn by 2050. The developing world accounts for 95% of this growth .
- People are becoming more health conscious, and more active in leisure and recreation.
- The consumer backlash against GM crops and protests at the WTO meeting signify how the values of consumers can affect the activities of businesses.
- The internet has redefined the concept of commerce, and has forced every organisation to look at the way it operates.
Impact on Costs
- Increased efficiency in production from new technologies has brought down unit costs, giving larger manufacturers huge economies of scale.
Key Strengths and Weaknesses
- Companies competing in the future will need to have the ability to make intelligent alliance and acquisition decisions as the need to gain economies of scale forces companies to seek growth opportunities.
- Successful companies will have to strike a balance between the forces of globalisation and the need to maintain a local focus on...