Beer and Skittles for Coopers following record sales; ACCC to review regional fuel price difference; Midday Roundup

Beer and Skittles for Coopers following record sales; ACCC to review regional fuel price difference; Midday Roundup

Adelaide-based family business Coopers Brewery is raising a glass to record beer sales during the 2014 calendar year, announcing it shifted 77.3 million litres of the amber fluid last year.

The result, which is 7.4% higher than Cooper’s 2013 sales, means the company now holds about 5% of the total Australian beer market, the company’s strongest position in its 153 year history.

Coopers’ managing director, Dr Tim Cooper, said the 2014 result had been driven by rising interstate sales and the contribution of Coopers’ international beer portfolio, which represented 10.6% of the total volume of sales.

Chairman Glenn Cooper previously told SmartCompany Coopers was committed to staying family owned. Of the company’s 160 shareholders, 90% are in some way related to founder Thomas Cooper, according to The Australian.

ACCC to review regional fuel price difference

The consumer watchdog will examine the discrepancies between the price of petrol in metropolitan and regional areas in its new quarterly reports.

While motorists in capital cities have been enjoying a dip in petrol prices of late, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commissionsaid the monthly average retail price of petrol across regional locations in Australia was 17.6 cents per litre higher than the five biggest capital cities in December 2014.

“Motorists in our larger capital cities have therefore seen the benefit of lower international prices but consumers in a number of regional locations have not,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims in a statement.

The ACCC said the reports could find cartel or other anti-competitive activity that breaches the Competition and Consumer Act, although several previous investigations have failed to find evidence of such breaches.

The first report is due in February.

Doubts stall market

Local shares have opened down this morning amid continued concerns over commodity prices, including oil and copper.

“Plunging commodity prices are driving fears of a further deterioration in global demand, in turn driving investor selling of shares,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“Although there is ample evidence that it is supply increases that are punishing industrial commodities, an emotional response to the dramatic drops saw markets fall around the globe. Weaker than forecast US retail sales in December added to the gloom.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 30.9 points to 5322.7 points at 11:58AM AEDT. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.06%, falling 186.59 points to 17,427.1 points.


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