24 Aug 2010 12:06

Russian sales lift Efes into H1 black

MOSCOW. Aug 24 (Interfax) - The Turkish brewing company Efes Breweries International (EBI), whose sales in Russia constitute the bulk of the company's overall income, made net profits of $25.4 million in the first half versus losses of $21.4 million in H1 2009, the company reported on its website.

The brewer said that Russia accounted for 78% of the company's sales in the first half - 590 million liters of 760 million liters overall for the period.

Sales revenues were up 13.2% at $472 million, while gross profits increased 14.7% t $224.2 million and EBITDA grew 9% to $91.1 million.

EBI's sales in Russia were up 12.2% in physical volume, which the company said was due to improved distribution and marketing. Efes said the Russian beer market contracted 10.7% in size in the first half, but the company was able to increase its market share from 9.3% to 10.3% with increased sales.

EBI is being "conservative" in its forecasts for this year, considering that Russia about tripled its beer excises at the start of the year. "We expect a drop in beer sales volume on the Russian market of 8%-10% because of rising retail prices caused by increased taxes and difficult economic condition," the company said. EBI had previously anticipated the Russian market would contract 5%-10%.

The group has five breweries in Russia - in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Kazan and Novosibirsk with combined brewing capacity of 2.5 billion liters a year. It also has four malt plants with output capacity of 139,000 tonnes. Efes labels include Efes Pilsner, Gold Mine Beer, SOL, Warsteiner, Zlatopramen, Bavaria, Stary Melnik, Bely Medved, Sokol and Krasny Vostok.

EBI's biggest shareholder, with over 70%, is the Turkish company Anadolu Efes Biracilik ve Malt Sanayi.