Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/31/2014 -- We have recently adjusted down our forecast for private consumption and investment growth for 2014 in Serbia as disappointing Q213 results showed a recovery is taking longer than we expected. Domestic demand is still struggling as the deleveraging of the household sector impedes private consumption, which is further hampered by record high unemployment. Weak credit growth continues to weigh on private spending. This will likely weigh on future food consumption, as indicated in our forecast figures.
Headline Industry Data (local currency):
- 2014 per capita food consumption: +1.6%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018: +3.0%.
- 2014 alcoholic drinks value sales: +1.6%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018: +2.5%.
- 2014 soft drinks value sales: +5.8%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018: +11.5%.
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales: +4.3%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018: +6.8%.
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Key Industry Trends
Ferrero Signs MoU With Serbian Government: In February 2014 it was announced that Italian confectionery company Ferrero had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Serbian government on February 6, in a bid to make Serbia 'the European hub of hazelnut production'. The partnership between the Italian company and Serbian producers will generate an opportunity to promote hazelnut production in central and eastern Serbia. According to Minister of Agriculture Dragan Glamocic, 'Ferrero's investments will enlarge the area covered with hazelnut trees from 1,000 hectares to over 10,000 hectares by 2020.'
Sojaprotein Moves To Higher Value: In autumn 2013, the Balkans' largest soy bean processor, Serbia based Sojaprotein, announced that it is to borrow EUR110mn from Societe Generale and UniCredit for refinancing as the company shifts to higher value products. The financing will support the transition from soybean meal for animal feeds to higher margin soy protein concentrate.
Delhaize Incurs Writedown On Serbian Business: In November 2013 Belgian based retailer Delhaize announced a second writedown on its operations in the Balkans, pushing the retailer to an unexpected third quarter loss. Delhaize said that it would write off EUR195mn, mainly on its business in Serbia, where a weak economy and high unemployment have contributed to a decline in sales and undermined short and mid-term expectations for its business.
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