Haacht Brewery: ‘The Horeca sector will not fully recover before the end of 2025’

For Haacht Brewery, the glass is both half-empty and half-filled. The pandemic will weigh on the hotel industry in the coming years. At the same time, catering sales at the listed brewery from Boortmeerbeek since the end of February have been as high as in the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

Haacht Brewery’s annual report always provides an interesting look at developments in the Belgian beer market. This again applies to the annual report for 2021. The brewer still moaned during the pandemic because the catering industry remained almost completely closed until June of that year. Only the terraces were allowed to open from May 2021.

Haacht Brewery’s annual report always provides an interesting look at developments in the Belgian beer market. This again applies to the annual report for 2021. The brewer still moaned during the pandemic because the catering industry remained almost completely closed until June of that year. Only the terraces were allowed to open from May 2021. Haacht is extra vulnerable because the company sold two thirds of its turnover in Belgium in 2019 in the catering industry, against a total market average of 42 percent. The share of lagers is also large in sales. Therefore, there was still a 48 percent decline in the Belgian catering industry last year compared to 2019. “The share of lager beer in total sales of Haacht plays a role in this: it is higher than the general market average”. brewer explains .. Beer also performs on average less well than specialty beers.Haacht Brewery sees even more trends in Belgium. The general trend is a decrease in beer consumption and a shift from catering to the home. This is related to the pandemic whose aftermath continues. “It is generally expected that the catering sector will not fully recover from the consequences of the pandemic until the end of 2025. Various reports and analyzes also show that the trend continues where the traditional beer café is making room for eateries and brasseries. the catering entrepreneur has the opportunity to switch to more premium, with increased margins as a result. Specialty beers are also experiencing a further positive development to the detriment of the pilsner segment. ” Haacht Brewery will respond to this. Fewer catering properties were sold in 2021, and purchase options were taken, which will be settled in 2022. In addition, the brewery primarily wants to grow abroad with France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the UK at the forefront. Haacht Brewery has partnered exclusively with The London Essence Company and Mathieu Teisseire on cocktails, mocktails and coffee varieties. The brewery is also cautiously positive about the recovery in the first quarter of 2022., but the full unrestricted reopening since March 2022 appears to be positive. “Since the end of February 2022, Haacht Brewery has again achieved the same high volumes as in the same period as in 2019. However, there is a “new challenge”, it reads. “Influenced by rising inflation, production costs are rising, with the conflict in Ukraine adding further pressure on prices.” The war in Ukraine has no direct impact because the brewery sells neither in Ukraine nor Russia But there is an indirect impact. The war weighs on consumer confidence due to increased energy and other costs. “We expect a significant effect in 2022 and early 2023 from rising cost inflation.” The brewery is noticing a sharp rise in commodity prices and wages , as a result of a shortage of raw materials and disruptions in the logistics chain. The brewery will therefore “carry out the necessary price increases if necessary”. : the beers will be more expensive. Nevertheless, there would again be a profit in 2022, after two deficit years (see balance sheet figures below). Haacht Brewery does not pay dividends for the financial year 2021.

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