The breweries in Vietnam – Focus on APB

The breweries in Vietnam - Focus on APB

August 2012 – Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) is listed on the Singapore stock exchange and has operations in fifteen countries in the Asia Pacific region, viz., Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand & Vietnam.

Vietnam is APB’s largest and most profitable market.  

The Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) region accounts for almost half of APB’s total PBIT.  Vietnam contributes the lion’s share to this. 

Operating structure:

Vietnam is split into two geographical areas of operation for APB, the north and the south.  The latter includes the Foster’s Group Limited business in Vietnam, which it acquired August 2006.  

The South

Operated by Vietnam Brewery Ltd. (VBL), which is a joint-venture created in 1991 between APB (60%) & Saigon Trading Co. (SATRA) (40%).  It commenced commercial operations 1993.

 VBL runs four breweries and manages marketing, sales and distribution in the central and southern regions of Vietnam.  

  • VBL HCMC – 100% owned
  • VBL Danang Ltd – 100% owned (acquired from Fosters 2006)
  • VBL Tien Giang Ltd – 100% owned (acquired from Fosters 2006)
  • VBL Quang Nam Ltd – 80% owned (acquired 2007)

The North

Operated by Ha Tay Brewery Limited (HBL), a wholly owned subsidiary of APB, which operates a brewery and manages marketing, sales and distribution in the northern region of Vietnam.   

APB commissioned this, its second brewery in Vietnam, October 2003.   Ha Tay Brewery, situated outside Hanoi, took full control over the North Vietnam operations from VBL. 

APB market position in Vietnam:

APB / VBL is the second biggest beer producer in Vietnam and controls approximately 25% total market share by volume.  

It has a large portfolio of brands which compete in all segments except for Bia Hoi.  Its Larue brand is market leader in the central region from Danang southwards. 

Heineken and Tiger beers together dominate the Vietnam premium beer segment with >85% market share.  

In fact, Vietnam is the largest market in the world for Tiger and either the second or third largest for the Heineken brand, following the US and France.   Heineken projected Vietnam would jump to second place globally in 2012 and could possibly rise to #1 by 2015.

APB beer brands in Vietnam


APB has certainly done a great job in Vietnam.  It absolutely dominates premium and is growing its position in mainstream with the Larue brand.

Sales of Heineken in Vietnam are nothing short of extraordinary.  Heineken has the strongest brand equity of all beer brands in Vietnam.  It is currently the only choice for premium beer consumers wanting to impress, or in the very worst case scenario not offend, their colleagues. 

Tiger on the other hand, despite having a large market share, has relatively weak brand equity.  It is just not considered as premium as it might, as a result of a number of factors, including an over-reliance on promotions. 

This surely must be a constant source of strain between the two JV partners at APB. 

Nevertheless, we feel that of all the major players, APB is best positioned to meet the rising challenges and opportunities in this rapidly growing Vietnamese beer market. 

This “Focus on APB” is the second in our series of articles looking at the major brewing groups in Vietnam.  We will have another article to release w/c 23rd July 2012 so please come back for that.

Please also feel free to contact us for more information.

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