Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/19/2013 -- We continue to see limited scope for growth in private consumption. Ultimately, high unemployment, falling real wages, a large stock of private sector debt and fiscal austerity will keep consumers focused on deleveraging rather than spending for the foreseeable future, particularly as taxes on consumption have been pushed up to help bring down Spain's deficit. This means we see very little chance of another consumption-led boom over the next five years and see the environment continuing to favour pricefocused retailers and cheaper food and drink options over most of this period.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2012 per capita food consumption = +0.3%; forecast to 2016 = +7.8%.
- 2012 alcoholic drink sales = +0.5%; forecast to 2016 = +6.2%.
- 2012 soft drink sales = +0.1%; forecast to 2016 = +8.3%.
- 2012 mass grocery retail sales = +0.6%; forecast to 2016 = +10.9%.
Key Company Trends & Developments
Dia H1 Results Impress Market - Although so much uncertainty surrounds the Spanish economy, there are some bright spots in food and drink. The discounter retailer Dia, which was a Carrefour spin-off from mid-2011, has performed well through 2012 with its value message providing an excellent competitive advantage in such challenging trading conditions. The firm posted good first-half results, which included a 6% increase in Spanish sales to about EUR2.4bn.
Ebro's Net Profit Up 19.1% In H112 - In July 2012, Spanish food manufacturer Ebro Puleva reported that its net profit increased 19.1% y-o-y to EUR67.2mn (US$81.4mn) in H112. The rise has been attributed to the successful integration of businesses acquired by the food producer in 2011. The firm's earnings before interest and tax rose 14.2% y-o-y to EUR106.3mn (US$128.7mn), while its net sales jumped 20.6% y-o-y to EUR1.02bn (US$1.23bn) in H112. Ebro's H112 results were helped by a relatively stable commodity market, new product development and its Memphis-based rice plant becoming fully operational.
Key Risk to Outlook
The biggest risk to our forecasts stems from the government's fiscal strategy. While the private sector remains in no state to drive the economy forward, should the government push too hard on the fiscal brakes, it could lead to an even greater downturn in real GDP. This would render the government's fiscal consolidation strategy as self-defeating and would prompt us to reassess our growth, fiscal and debt forecasts.
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