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Weekly Round-Up ... 22 February 2022

Portuguese wine exports rose by 8.11%, year on year, to over €925 million in 2021, according to ViniPortugal, the main representative group for the sector. The group noted that the growth rate in 2021 was higher than the average of recent years (3.6%) and that of 2020 (4.5%). During 2021, exports increased to the USA (+13.08%), Germany (+13.46%) and Brazil (+8.65%). On the other hand, wine sales to Angola and Sweden registered decreases of 7.40% and 4.06%, respectively.

SPAR’s sponsorship of the SPAR Indoor Hockey Series got off to a terrific start on Monday night when the Ireland Indoor Women’s Senior Hockey team recorded their first ever international win when defeating South Africa in the opening match of their five-game Test Series that is taking place in Gormanston, Co. Meath this week. Ireland won 3-2 thanks to a penalty corner goal from Chloe Brown two minutes from time for a dramatic victory. The week-long  SPAR sponsored tournament will showcase high-octane fixtures with the two nations reprising their rivalry from 2019 when Ireland travelled to Durban and Cape Town for a SPAR-supported series. Those fixtures played a pivotal role in the ongoing regeneration of indoor hockey in Ireland and were their first on the international stage for nearly 30 years. Fans are assured a top event with the chance to watch international hockey in the south of Ireland for the first time since the 2019 Olympic qualifiers. Commenting, Keith Crawford, regional sales manager, SPAR said, “SPAR has a strong tradition of supporting sport in Ireland and we are thrilled to be in a position to sponsor this series of international matches between Ireland and South Africa and I want to wish all competing the very best of luck and I’m sure the spectators will be treated to some excellent matches.”

GreenYellow has raised additional funds of around €200 million to support its growth, the energy business of French retailer Groupe Casino has announced. GreenYellow, which last year announced that it was considering a stock market listing, produces low-cost electricity and helps lower companies’ power consumption. It raised €109 million via five-year convertible bonds, with warrants attached, subscribed by a US institutional investor – Farallon Capital – and a further €87 million through a one-year syndicated credit facility. The funding would accelerate the company’s transition to an “infrastructure” model, GreenYellow president Otmane Hajji said in a statement, as it aims to become a world leader in decentralised energy.

European retailers are locked in extended price negotiations with giant food companies – including the world’s biggest, Nestlé – as they fight to retain shoppers and protect their profits. Major consumer product companies across the world have announced plans to boost prices at a faster pace than last year, as they seek to curb the impact of soaring raw-material costs on their margins. Early this month, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde flagged rising food prices as a significant contributor to January’s unexpectedly high overall inflation in Europe, which, she said, caught the ECB off-guard. Ahold Delhaize – the owner of more than 20 retail brands, including Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Stop & Shop in the United States – told Reuters on Wednesday that it had kept underlying operating margins stable, at 4.4% – in part – by negotiating prices.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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