With bars and restaurants shut for months in parts of Spain and tourism drying up due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country's €1.2 billion- ($1.46 billion) cava wine sector had been expecting a devastating year. But early projections of an up to 40% collapse in sales proved overly pessimistic, with producers of the bubbly drink expecting the year-end holidays to further dilute the impact on the industry-led by brands such as Freixenet and Codorniu, reports Reuters. Geographically-diversified exports and growing online trade targeting home-based consumption have kept sales decline to just over 10%, signalling a potential template for other hit-hard sectors in the battered economy. "No one desires a fall, but I'd even say it's a pretty good result considering the context," Cava Regulatory Board Chairman Javier Pages said.
Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has announced that it has obtained an operating and environmental permit to cultivate Belgian mussels in the North Sea. The permit will allow the retailer to implement its plans in zone C in the North Sea, located five kilometres off the coast of Nieuwpoort and Koksijde and is better known as the Westdiep zone. It expects a first limited mussel harvest to be ready at the earliest by the autumn of 2022 and a full Belgian mussel season in 2023, reports esmmagazine.com Quality and production manager at Colruyt Group, Stefan Goethaert, said, "A lot of research and innovation has gone into this, but we are now very close to launching the very first sea farm in the North Sea."
A.P. Møller Holding has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire sustainable packaging firm Faerch Group. A.P. Møller Holding, which owns theA.P. Møller – Maersk shipping business among other interests, is funding the acquisition with funds managed by Advent International, reports esmmagazine.com “Faerch is recognised as a leader within circular food packaging solutions," commented Jan Nielsen, chief investment officer,A.P. Møller Holding."It has a great team, a strong customer offering and distinctive operational capabilities. A.P. Møller Holding will support an acceleration of Faerch’s leadership position and increase investments in additional recycling facilities to meet the high customer demand.”
H&M, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Tuesday that local-currency sales fell 10% in its fourth quarter, with a pronounced slowdown in the final month as the second wave of coronavirus restrictions curbed spending. The Swedish rival to Zara owner Inditex said a recovery seen in the previous quarter had continued through much of the fourth quarter but that sales had been hit again from the end of October. "Between 22 October and 30 November sales decreased by 22% compared with the corresponding period last year, as the recovery transitioned into a new slowdown as a result of the pandemic's second wave," H&M said in a statement. H&M said sales in the quarter fell to 52.5 billion Swedish crowns ($6.25 billion) from 61.7 billion a year earlier, although the local-currency drop from the beginning of September to 21 October was only 3% versus a year earlier. "H&M’s sales were showing good resilience prior to the latest wave of lockdowns, however, they may now be affected by further restrictions on stores, such as in H&M’s largest market Germany," RBC analyst Richard Chamberlain said in a note. Citi analysts said they viewed the overall result as encouraging and reflecting "the path of transition H&M were undertaking pre-COVID".
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