S&N warmed by Russian performance

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Baltic beverage holdings, Russia

Unseasonably mild weather in Russia has helped boost sales at Scottish & Newcastle (S&N)'s Baltic Beverage Holdings (BBH) operation.BBH,...

Unseasonably mild weather in Russia has helped boost sales at Scottish & Newcastle (S&N)'s Baltic Beverage Holdings (BBH) operation.

BBH, S&N's eastern European joint venture with Carlsberg saw net sales up 43.8 per cent to €492m (£335m) in the first quarter of 2007.

Operating profits grew more than 117 per cent to €88m (£59.8m).

The group said mild weather in Russia helped BBH's beer volume growth, which rose 42 per cent in the quarter, outperforming a local beer market which itself grew 28 per cent in the period.

S&N said its Baltika Breweries business now had a 37.5 per cent share of the Russian beer market, which it believed should grow by between five and eight per cent this year.

However, it said that while performance in the first quarter had been "exceptional" it warned that "challenges remain for the rest of the year".

"Balancing volume and value, we expect to continue to gain share whilst achieving price increases just below the level of local food and beverage inflation," S&N said in a statement.

The group said it expected pre-tax margins to be broadly in line with last year's reported margin of 22.6%.

It added it planned to increase capital expenditure to between €400m-€500m (£272m-£340m) for the full year, including the increased investment in the new brewery planned for Novosibirsk, Western Siberia.

Related topics: Beer

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