Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2014 -- There are no immediate prospects for improvements in the outlook for consumer spending in Croatia in 2014, with consumption set to be hindered by high unemployment, weak bank lending, and low wage growth over the coming quarters. We therefore forecast Croatia's economy to grow by an anaemic 0.4% in 2014 with growth likely to be hindered by stagnant consumer spending and fiscal consolidation.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2014 per capita food consumption = +1.7%; per capita forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014 to 2018 = +2.5%.
- 2014 alcoholic drinks value sales = +1.6%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018 = +2.7%.
- 2014 soft drinks value sales = +3.7%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018 = +3.5%.
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales = +2.9%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2018 = +2.9%.
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Key Company Trends
Agrokor Looks to Revise Mercator Offer: In early 2014 it was reported that Agrokor would like to lower its offer price for Mercator, valuing the 53% stake in the Slovenian retailer at EUR220mn, which is EUR20mn less than under the contract signed in summer 2013. As part of the lowered price, Agrokor would also secure a capital injection for Mercator. Meanwhile, Mladen Cerovac, Deputy Director of the Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN), has announced that Agrokor will have to substantially reduce its retail network in the country before it can get the regulatory approval to take over Mercator.
Atlantic Grupa Secures Unilever Distribution Rights: In late 2013 Atlantic Grupa took over the Croatian and Slovenian distribution of Unilever products. Atlantic Grupa will handle brands including Knorr, Bertolli and Hellmann's in the two countries. The contract, taking the annual sales on the two markets, is worth a total of EUR32mn, and the new partnership reaffirms Atlantic Grupa's status as a leading FMCG distributor in the region.
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