Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trouble brewing

The beer behemoth InBev has problems. Consumption of its product is dropping: in its home market, the Belgians are quaffing about a fifth less than they were at the start of the decade. Last week, InBev announced job-cuts of 10% of the workforce: this must be the second or third round of redundancies in recent years.

Another way of looking at that is InBev's pre-tax earning jumped 12% last year, on a 9-month drop in sales of 2%. A triumph for the beancounters (and InBev count beans as well as anybody: their brews are less remarkable).

For some hours last Friday the workers held managers hostage. Since InBev's staple products in Belgium involve Stella Artois and Jupiler, Malcolm feels temporary internment may be too good for them.

Now, then may be the moment for Malcolm to review his few days in Belgium, just before Christmas. They were, he proudly boasts, a few beer-soaked days in which he avoided all direct contact with the products of InBev.

So ... next boozy post coming up. Sphere: Related Content

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