International sales including licensed production contributed to the volume growth
Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s., the major Czech brewer, achieved total beer sales of its brands at home and abroad of 10.2 million hectolitres in calendar year 2005, a year-on-year increase of 5 per cent.
The Company’s domestic beer sales were stable over the last two years, at the level of approx. 8 mil. hectolitres, in line with expectations and with the overall stability of the market.
Plzensky Prazdroj confirmed its leading position as the largest Czech beer exporter and producer abroad. Overall foreign sales of Plzensky Prazdroj’s brands increased 29% to 2.2 mil. hectolitres, driven mainly by Pilsner Urquell and Velkopopovicky Kozel success in licensed markets.
Mike Short, Managing Director of Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s., said: “2005 was a year of overall market stability, however negatively affected by poor weather during the summer season contributing to the strong competitive challenges of the Czech market.
Plzensky Prazdroj remained stable with regards to the domestic sales volume during 2005. The picture was enhanced, however, by a surge in international sales of our brands. This export growth was mainly in the countries that recently acceded to the EU, benefiting from the lifting of trade barriers that had existed previously as well as from our marketing efforts in those countries.
The stringently controlled licensed production of our brands in carefully selected neighbouring countries continues to prove very positive, with Velkopopovicky Kozel now showing considerable growth based on its increasing reputation as a high quality but moderately priced Czech brand.
We are pleased that we have achieved a modest increase in our domestic market share over the last year. Also, with our current and planned extensive investments in Pilsen brewery, in our core brands and in the market place, together with the commitment and skill of our employees, we are confident that we will be able to strengthen further our domestic market position. This investment and focus will also provide significant impetus to our market position over the years ahead.”
2005 was marked by the following significant events for the company:
- Both Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus, as the company’s core brands, grew in the domestic market.
- Pilsner Urquell showed 6% increase of export sales with some excellent results in key international markets.
- Major investment was commenced at Pilsen brewery aimed at further enhancing brewery capacity and Pilsner Urquell flavour stability, supporting the company’s position as the leading Czech beer exporter.
- The non-alcoholic beer, Radegast Birell, became the Company’s most dynamically growing brand, with a clear leading position within its market segment.
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- Plzensky Prazdroj’s main beer brands in the Czech Republic are Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast and Velkopopovicky Kozel.
- Plzensky Prazdroj employs 2,694 people in the Pilsen, Radegast and Velke Popovice breweries and in 13 Sales and Distribution Centres throughout the Czech Republic.
- Plzensky Prazdroj is a subsidiary of SABMiller plc, the world’s second largest brewer with a brewing presence if over 45 countries across four continents. Pilsner Urquell is one of SABMiller’s international flagship brands.