Oktoberfest comes early for Munich beer, thanks to World Cup

Bloomberg NewsJuly 9, 2014 

Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany

Frank Neupert of Erfurt, Germany, celebrates as he watches Germany score a goal against Brazil during the World Cup semi final, as he watches outside the Hofbrau Beer Hall, Tuesday in Miami Beach. Beer was flowing there, and in Munich. Paulaner Brauerei, the Munich brewery started by monks in 1634, has been basking in Germany’s World Cup success as fans drive beer sales to a record.

WILFREDO LEE — AP

— Paulaner Brauerei, the Munich brewery started by monks in 1634, is basking in Germany’s World Cup success as fans cheering the national team’s progression to the July 13 final drive beer sales to a record.

Revenue in June trumped sales generated in the same month in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, Chief Executive Officer Roland Tobias said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday. Paulaner sold 9 percent more beer in June compared with eight years ago, the company said, declining to provide exact volumes.

“So far the summer is really, really good for our business and we expect to continue,” Tobias told Bloomberg Television’s Guy Johnson. “If Germany wins, there will be an unbelievable party.”

Germany, which has won soccer’s biggest competition three times, trounced the host nation Brazil 7-1 in Tuesday’s semifinal in Belo Horizonte to secure a chance at lifting its first World Cup trophy since 1990. The rout ended a run of 63 competitive matches at home without a defeat for Brazil, going back to 1975. The victory “almost earns the designation historic,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin Wednesday.

The five-hour time difference between Rio de Janeiro and Munich means that all the games are broadcast in the evening in Germany, which has helped increase sales, Tobias said.

“People go out because they want to have fun and have a party, even those who aren’t football fans,” he said. “That’s easier when the game’s in the evening.”

Tuesday night’s match was the most-discussed single sports game on Twitter’s social network, with 35.6 million tweets during the 90-minute game, according to the San Francisco-based company. German midfielder Sami Khedira’s strike to make it 5-0 after only 29 minutes also set a record for tweets per minute, at 580,166.

The game also broke broadcasting records to become the most-viewed television event in Germany’s history, according to public broadcaster ZDF. A total of 32.6 million people tuned in for the semifinal for a market share of 87.8 percent, ZDF said on its website.

An estimated additional 10 million people, who aren’t counted in the TV ratings, watched the game online and at public viewing events across the country.

The previous record was also spurred by coach Joachim Loew’s national team. More than 31 million people watched Germany’s 1:0 defeat against Spain in the semifinal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Paulaner is a sponsor of FC Bayern Munich, the Munich-based club that supplied seven of the players in the national side and a total of 14 athletes in the World Cup tournament. It’s one of six breweries licensed to sell their products at the annual Oktoberfest, the Munich beer festival that attracts about six million visitors every year.

Paulaner, through investor Brau Holding International, is part-owned by the Schoerghuber Corporate Group and Heineken. It also owns the Hacker-Pschorr, Thurn & Taxis and Auerbraeu brands. Brau Holding’s 2,300 employees generated about 588 million euros ($800 million) of revenue last year.

Brau Holding sold 5.5 million hectoliters of beer last year, 1.2 percent more than in 2012, according to its website. Paulaner, its biggest brand, increased revenue by 1.5 percent to a record high, it said.

German chemical companies may also see a World Cup boon, said Karl-Ludwig Kley, the president of the VCI German chemical industry group and CEO of Merck, when asked at a press conference in Frankfurt Wednesday if the world cup has any measurable effect on chemical production.

While the effect on chemical production isn’t measurable, “there is an emotional effect, which prompts people to buy more so there is benefit to retail sales,” Kley said at the briefing. The CEO pointed out that chemical ingredients are used to make clothing, soccer shoes and the official match ball, the Brazuca, produced by Adidas.

The polyurethane used to make the Brazuca balls is supplied by Bayer, which also owns Bayer 04 Leverkusen Football Club.

– With assistance from Patrick Donahue, Stefan Nicola and Cornelius Rahn in Berlin and Emma-Victoria Farr in Frankfurt.

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