S&N refuses to take tough line over supermarket beer prices

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supermarket

Despite Scottish & Newcastle's (S&N) recent call for a more responsible retailing approach from major grocery retailers, supermarkets can go...

Despite Scottish & Newcastle's (S&N) recent call for a more responsible retailing approach from major grocery retailers, supermarkets can go on selling its alcohol products cheaply, the brewer said.

At S&N's half-year results presentation in the City today John Dunsmore, chairman and chief executive of the brewer's UK operation, said the group wanted "to engage with all those stakeholders who had an interest in furthering responsible drinking".

S&N had made its own contribution to this process, he added, by working with trade organisations to halt 'happy hour' promotions, and with its own unit labelling and consumption recommendations on its bottled products.

However, Mr Dunsmore stopped short of supporting the suggestion that S&N could demand that supermarkets stop selling beers and ciders at "irresponsible prices" by threatening to halt supplies to offending retailers.

"This is a multi-pronged strategy of which price is just a part," he said.

S&N group chief executive Tony Froggatt agreed, noting, "all of society needed to address the issue of irresponsible drinking. It would be wrong to blame any one particular party".

Forty per cent of S&N's domestic beer production is sold through supermarkets, the group confirmed.

S&N announced first half sales up six per cent to £1,994m, with pre-tax profits up 12 per cent at £187m.

Related topics: Beer

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