Singha eyes brewery in Myanmar after alliance
Singha Corporation plans to set up a brewery in Myanmar as part of its new strategic alliance with Carlsberg.Piti Bhirombhakdi, regional marketing director, said yesterday that Singha was fully committed to making Carlsberg the No 1 premium beer in Thailand and its own Singha beer a top-three brand in Asia within five years. Currently it ranks fifth or sixth in the region.
"We will spend Bt200 million this year in promoting Carlsberg beer in Thailand and some neighbouring Asean markets. We expect to sell 5 million litres of Carlsberg in the first year and to grow 15-20 per cent annually in the following years. We want to push sales of Carlsberg beer up to 35 million litres in five years," he said.
"We're not just reintroducing Carlsberg beer into the Thai market. We also want our Singha beer to penetrate deeper into the global market by capitalising on Carlsberg's global brewery and distribution network, particularly in Asia and Europe.
"With a good partner, we can make our own brand grow actively in the market, particularly Asean, which will become a single market with more than 600 million people."
Henrik Andersen, Carlsberg regional chief executive officer for Indochina, said the collaboration with Singha was a milestone in the brewing industry - the largest and most successful Thai brewer joining forces with one of the world's largest brewery groups.
He said it was a unique combination of Singha's local market strength and expertise combined with Carlsberg's worldwide distribution footprint and state-of-the-art know-how and technology. The two companies share a great history and heritage and are to a great extent built on the same values and principles, he said.
"The collaboration is a win-win as it not only covers Thailand but also markets outside Thailand, in particular Europe and Asia," he said.
Carlsberg operates eight breweries in Asean with combined production capacity of 1.25 billion litres. Two are in Laos, one in Cambodia, four in Vietnam and one in Malaysia.
To reintroduce Carlsberg beer, Singha says it will draw on the strengths of its distribution network with more than 100 dealers and focus on big cities in 21 provinces, which are also tourism destinations, particular in the South, which shows the highest sales volume of premium beer.
Carlsberg available in Thailand will be imported from the Danish company's Myanmar and Laos breweries until it can be produced locally in the near future by Singha's brewery.
Singha has expanded its brewery in Nakhon Pathom's Bang Len district by 50 million litres to 1.7 billion litres.
It is constructing a brewery in Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri district that will be completed by mid-2014. Then the company will be ready |to produce premium beer for Carlsberg.
The beer market has enjoyed growth of 8-9 per cent annually, but there are very few players in the 75-million-litre premium segment worth Bt630 million.
The premium segment is expected to become more active after the reintroduction of Carlsberg. It is expected to increase by 10-12 per cent this year.
Singha Corp's sales rose 15 per cent to Bt130 billion last year. It aims to boost its share in the local beer market to 70 per cent within five years from 68-69 per cent now.
Carlsberg has been paying attention to the Asian market over recent years because of the economic conditions and the maturity of the beer markets in Europe and North America.
It has been focusing on growing in emerging markets, especially in Asia, where consumption can grow enormously, for example in India, China, Laos and Vietnam.
Beer consumption in Asia has been forecast to grow by about 5 per cent annually from 2011 to 2016.