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Market Report, "Croatia Food & Drink Report Q1 2014", published

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2013-12-09 10:33:50 - New Food research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research

A modest recovery in private consumption will be insufficient to drive a significant economic recovery in Croatia in 2014, with fiscal consolidation and weak investment spending set to weigh on headline growth. Although the recovering tourism sector will continue supporting the economy, we have pencilled in below-consensus real GDP growth of -0.4% in 2013 and 0.6% in 2014. While Croatia's economic recovery will remain sluggish in 2014, we believe that the economy will move out of recession this year, breaking away from five consecutive years of negative growth. Recently released data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics show that real GDP contracted by only 0.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q213. This marks the continuing improvement in the economy, up from 2.3%

y-o-y contraction in Q412 and 1.5% y-o-y contraction in Q113.

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

* 2014 per capita food consumption = +2.4%; per capita forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2017 = +2.4%.
* 2014 alcoholic drinks value sales = +2.3%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +2.4%.
* 2014 soft drinks value sales = +4.5%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +3.4%.
* 2014 mass grocery retail = +2.9%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +3.4%.

Full Report Details at
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Key Company Trends

Agrokor Plans London IPO To Fund Expansion: Croatia-based food producer and retailer Agrokor plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) at the London Stock Exchange in the next two years. The funds raised through the IPO could be utilised to finance acquisitions in Turkey or Russia, said Ivica Todoric, the president of the company. The company plans to capitalise on the IPO to expand beyond its existing market of the western Balkan heartland. However, it is yet to make a decision on the exact timing and structure of the IPO, Todoric added.

Agrokor needs to scale down retail arm to acquire Mercator: In mid June, Agrokor agreed to pay EUR 240m for a 53% stake in Mercator in a deal signed with a group of shareholders including beverage company Pivovarna Lasko and the state-owned NLB bank. Before the deal can be finalised Agrokor needs regulatory approval for each of the markets where the two companies are present. Another condition is successful restructuring of Mercator's EUR 1bn debt. The Croatian Competition Agency has not yet formally launched the procedure to examine the impact of the takeover because the proposals so far made by Agrokor are insufficient, the agency's deputy director Mladen Cerovec told reporters in Zagreb. 'They will have to sell much, but the question is whether there is an interest,' Cerovec said, explaining that Agrokor would have to sell, close or transform many of its stores to get an approval of the takeover. Agrokor is not expected to have major problems securing the regulatory go-ahead in Slovenia, but the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency has not yet issued its opinion. Croatia and Serbia are the key growth markets for Mercator, and they are believed to account for more than 30% of Mercator's annual sales.

EU Directs Croatia To Abandon Prosek Wine: Following EU accession, the EU has directed Croatian vintners to no longer use the word 'Prosek' to market their wine as it is too similar to the Italian word 'Prosecco'. Prosecco, which is produced in the wine regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, has legal brand protection under EU rules. Prosek is a sweet wine, while Prosecco is a sparkling wine. Despite the difference, the EU has decided not to allow the name Prosek to be sold in Croatia or abroad.

Atlantic Grupa To Construct Energy Bar Manufacturing Plant In Nova Gradiska: Croatia-based food company Atlantic Grupa is looking to establish a new energy bar manufacturing plant at the Industrial park Nova Gradiska, Croatia, reports FBR. The company said it will invest around US$21.26mn in the development of the facility which is initially expected to create 50 new jobs and a total of 160 jobs with the planned business growth. Atlantic Grupa said the construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in April 2014 with the first products from the new lines expected to be on available for purchase in Q115.

About Business Monitor International

Business Monitor International (BMI) offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help senior executives, analysts and researchers assess and better manage operating risks, and exploit business opportunities, across 175 markets. BMI offers three main areas of expertise: Country Risk BMI's country risk and macroeconomic forecast portfolio includes weekly financial market reports, monthly regional Monitors, and in-depth quarterly Business Forecast Reports. Industry Analysis BMI covers a total of 17 industry verticals through a portfolio of services, including in-depth quarterly Country Forecast Reports. View more research from Business Monitor International at

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