MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) - Brewing company SABMiller's beer sales in Russia dropped by 5% in natural terms for the 2009 financial year (April 2009 to March 2010), the company said in a statement.
The statement said that that company had been able to maintain its market share in Russia over the past financial year.
SABMiller's sales in Russia seriously suffered at the start of the year in light of the financial crisis. Sales in the first half of the 2009 financial year (April-September) dropped by 9% but increased organically in October-December since Russian distributors purchased beer reserves just prior to a threefold increase in the beverage's excise duty.
The State Duma approved a law in November 2009, which raised the excise duty on beer for 2010 from 3 rubles to 9 rubles per liter. For 2011 and 2012 the tax will increase to 10 rubles and 12 rubles per liter, respectively.
SABMiller entered the Russian market in 1998. It owns SAB Miller Rus LLC (formerly Kaluga Brewing Company) and Vladpivo LLC, the largest brewer in Russia's Far East.