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Export intensity and firm performance for family brewers


  • Houthoofd, Noël

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB))

  • Hendrickx, Jef

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB))


Purpose of the paper. This paper investigates whether product line breadth, innovation and company size can be linked with export performance. The focus is on the relationship between export performance and firm performance, especially for family brewers in Belgium. Research method. A questionnaire was sent to most family brewers in Belgium at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. 22 brewers participated in the survey. The case study of Duvel Moortgat relies heavily on press releases and annual accounts of the firm. Moderated regressions were used to test hypotheses. The case study is exemplary for the issues investigated. Findings. Product line breadth, innovation and firm size are not significantly correlated with export intensity. Export intensity in turn is also not significantly correlated with profits. But export intensity is beneficial for the growth of Belgian breweries. Product line breadth and innovation moderate the export intensity – firm performance relationship. The positive relationship between export intensity and firm performance is higher for high levels of innovation, while innovation in itself harms firm growth. Product line breadth in itself helps firm growth. However, the positive effect of export intensity on firm performance is higher for lower levels of product line breadth. The case of Duvel- Moortgat indicates that an equilibrated growth of sales and profits is possible and that internationalization and exports are an important part of the strategy. Practical implications. The paper shows that a more intensive export orientation is beneficial for the growth of the brewery. The case study of Duvel-Moortgat illustrates that there is no trade off between internal growth and external growth, and that firm performance can keep pace with internationalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Houthoofd, Noël & Hendrickx, Jef, 2012. "Export intensity and firm performance for family brewers," Working Papers 2012/25, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:201225

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    Export performance; export intensity; growth; firm performance; beer brewing industry; Duvel- Moortgat;

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