Competitive Strategy Coopers Brewery

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Competitive Strategy
Assessment 3 – Individual Assignment: Business Report
29th November 2010

Coopers Brewery

Grant Semmler
Student ID: 110013428

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executive Summary

This report examines the current competitive strategies of Coopers Brewery Limited (Coopers); a family owned South Australian based beer producer.

Coopers is a public company which is not listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, currently holding a 3.4% market share of the Australian beer market (Coopers Chairman’s Report, 2009). Its major competitors are the Fosters Group and Lion Nathan together holding 94% of the Australian beer market (Byrom & Lehman, 2009).

The company exports to 26 countries worldwide including the USA, UK, India and Russia. Although still small, exports currently account for 2.6% of Coopers’ total sales.

In 2005 Coopers resisted a A$420 million hostile takeover attempt by Lion Nathan, successfully persuading its shareholders that the future lay in family hands as opposed to those of the multinational. The company also changed its constitution to prevent any future takeovers by large corporations.

Through the use of various tools, including SWOT, PESTLE and Porters 5 Forces, this report investigates the key strategies employed by Coopers in order to analyse the company, its financial situation, competitors and competitive advantage.

As competition in the beer industry in Australia is intense, this report will make recommendations, including blue ocean strategies, to develop new product lines and the possible expansion and establishment of a new bottling plant on the Australian East Coast. Along with the continued strong management focus, these recommendations will assist Coopers to remain a sustainable and profitable company within the industry.

Contents

Executive Summary1

1. Company Background3

2. Company Analysis
SWOT and PESTLE4
Porters 5 Forces4

3. Financial Analysis5

4. Competitor Analysis6

5. Competitor Advantage7

6. Recommendations8

References11

Appendices
Appendix 1: SWOT13
Appendix 2: PESTLE 15
Appendix 3: Porters 5 Forces16
Appendix 4: Competitor Brands and Major Brands v Coopers17 Appendix 5: Coopers Value Chain19
Appendix 6: Balanced Scorecard20

1. COMPANY BACKGROUND

Thomas Cooper arrived in the colony of South Australia in 1862. Despite having trained as a stonemason in his native Yorkshire, Thomas Cooper quickly established himself as a successful brewer, devising Coopers Sparkling Ale and Extra Stout; products which are still made today.

Upon his death in 1897, control of the firm passed to four of his sons. Two successive generations continued to develop the company throughout the 20th Century, maintaining the firm’s traditional products, whilst introducing new lines such as lagers. By the mid-1990s, it was apparent that expansion in capacity would be needed for the firm to develop.

In 1997, the business purchased a $40 million state of the art manufacturing, bottling and distribution plant in Regency Park, South Australia. With advanced robotics and a commitment to an eco friendly plant and processes to reduce their carbon footprint, Coopers has never lost sight of their mission.

Dr Tim Cooper, a fifth generation member of the family, oversaw the development of the new site and is now Managing Director and Chief Brewer. His cousin, Glenn Cooper, is Chairman, with various other members of the Cooper family occupying seats in the boardroom and within the Company itself.

The expansion of the brewery at the new site allowed Coopers to increase production and expand away from its South Australian heartland into the larger markets on Australia’s eastern seaboard. Exports have also become more significant, with 35 per cent volume growth between 2006 and 2007. However, at 2.6 per cent of total sales,...
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