World News: 06/08/2011

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Germany: Metro Group, the owner of loss-making wholesaler Makro Cash & Carry UK, has posted flat half-year sales. Sales were up just 0.1% to 31.3bn in the first half of the year, with profits down from 470m to 452m. Its wholesale division Metro Cash & Carry posted a 1.3% sales increase to 14.8bn. “While Metro Cash & Carry, Real and Galeria Kaufhof succeeded in increasing profits, Media-Saturn was particularly affected by consumer buying restraint,” said CEO Dr Eckhard Cordes.

South Africa: Massmart and Walmart have pledged to create 15,000 retail jobs in South Africa over the next five years. The pledge comes as ministers voiced concern that Walmart’s acquisition of Massmart would cut jobs and affect the domestic food industry. The acquisition is to be examined by the Competition Appeal Court.

Canada: Worldwide beer volumes at Molson Coors Brewing Company have fallen almost 3% in the past three months. Despite the slump, price hikes meant second-quarter sales were up 5.7% to $933.6m. But profits for the period fell 1.2% to $231.6m. “Positive beer pricing, cost reductions in our core businesses and favourable foreign exchange rates were offset by the impact of continuing weak economic conditions, commodity inflation and investments in our international business,” said CEO Peter Swinburn.

China: China Resources Snow Breweries, the joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprise, is to acquire the remaining 55% stake in Hangzhou Xihu Breweries Asahi and the remaining 25% stake in Xihu Breweries Asahi for $47m. The two companies have a combined production capacity of five million hectolitres per year and will improve CR Snow’s geographical footprint.

India: Danone is to enter the baby nutrition and medical nutrition markets in India after acquiring Wockhardt Group for 250m. “The strong brand awareness of Wockhardt’s Dexolac, Farex and Nusobee baby nutrition products and their credibility with healthcare professionals will accelerate Danone’s entry into India’s baby nutrition market,” Danone said.

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