Russia and the Ukraine are proving a profitable market for Scottish & Newcastle's joint venture Baltic Beverage Holdings.
The company reported third quarter net sales up by 27 per cent. Beer sales in the 50:50 venture between S&N and Carlsberg Breweries rose 22 per cent, though margins fell 2.8 per cent due to increasing distribution costs and higher marketing spend.
Russia proved the strongest market with BBH's share growing 2.9 per cent to 35.9 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2003. With a new brewery in Kiev coming on line, BBH also secured its place as number two in that market with a 23 per cent share, up 1.8 per cent on the same quarter last year.
S&N reported that heavy discounting of PET products hit BBH's Baltic sales which fell 1.8 per cent to 42.8 per cent.
Net sales for BBH for the whole region were US$527m for the third quarter and US$1323 for the nine months to March 2004.