Across 2013 the Czech Statistical Office recorded continued improvements in consumer confidence levels, which should in turn start to reflect in private consumption and household spending during 2014. We expect real GDP growth to return to the Czech economy from 2014 onwards, with our country risk team forecasting real GDP growth for the first time in two years. The only foreseeable potential risks to GDP growth would be as a result of further deteriorating growth within the country's eurozone neighbours, which seems unlikely at this time.
While unemployment remains below the EU average, it continued to rise a little during 2013 and is expected to rise again during 2014. The annual inflation rate stood at just 1% in September 2013, with food and soft drink prices falling another 0.8%. In view of the maturity of the country's consumer base, its increasing confidence should help to secure the premiumisation necessary to sustain momentum in the sector.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 per capita food consumption (local currency terms): +1.4%; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2018:+2.7%
- 2014 alcoholic drinks value sales (local currency terms): +2.4%; CAGR to 2018: +3.9%
- 2014 soft drinks value sales (local currency terms): +5.1%; CAGR to 2018: +7.7%
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales (local currency terms): +3.9%; CAGR to 2018: +5.9%
Key Company Trends
Agrofert Acquires Lieken from Barilla: In June 2013, the European Competition Authority approved the acquisition of German bakery group Lieken from the Italian food company Barilla. Agrofert already has a sizeable presence in the bakery business in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and this acquisition will allow Agrofert to enter the German market, where it plans to use Lieken to launch its own product ranges, including ham, milk and butter.
Mondelez International To Launch US$100m Biscuit Plant: In November 2013, it was reported that USbased food processing company Mondelez International was considering to launch a US$100mn biscuit facility at its Opava site in the Czech Republic. The project is part of the company's US$240mn investment plan to build a European biscuits network across Europe, including sites in France, the UK and Central Europe. The plan is in line with the company's commitment to invest in advantaged assets to drive