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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Strong orders for Russian beers
Cans of beer on the production line
Baltika is making headway in a number of overseas markets
Russian brewer Baltika has seen exports soar in the first half of 2005, while market share has increased at the expense of its domestic rivals.

The firm, whose Baltika lager is one of the world's most popular, saw profits rise 39% to 230.6m euros (156m).

Baltika said smart marketing and strong distribution helped it outperform the Russian market, which grew 3.7%.

Its largest shareholder, BBH, is jointly owned by global brewers Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg.

Export rush

Baltika's share of the Russian beer market - in terms of sales volumes - rose to 24%, three percentage points higher than the same period last year.

Its sales volumes rose 22% over the period driven by increased demand for Baltika, Russia's number one beer and Europe's number two.

The company continues to demonstrate success and feels confident in the marketplace
Anton Artemiev, Baltika Breweries

The company is also building sales of Baltika and other products outside of Russia, with exports rising 24%.

The largest growth has been seen in fast-growing neighbouring markets such as Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Direct beer shipments have started to Holland and France while its principal lager is being sold in Ireland and Norway for the first time.

Baltika said it was optimistic about prospects for the year as a whole.

Growth potential

"The results show that the company continues to demonstrate success and feels confident in the marketplace," company president Anton Artemiev said

Foreign brewers have been targeting Russia in recent years.

They see huge potential for growth in a country in which beer, until the 1990s, played second fiddle to vodka.

Russia has now become the world's fifth largest consumer of beer.


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