Plzeňský Prazdroj Records its Second Highest Sales Volumes in its History


Mike Short, Managing Director Plzeňský Prazdroj:
“Our strategy focused on premiumisation and exports has proven to be correct. While the domestic market sales slowed moderately, we have done well in exports, with a growth of over 4% despite the financial crisis which has impacted some of our export markets.  

Over the last year we completed all significant investment projects in our three breweries and are optimally positioned to continue brewing and packaging beer of the highest quality, with particular emphasis on the flavour stability of exported beer.

The year-on-year decline in volumes experienced in the domestic market was mainly due to a weakened demand for our economy brands. Already last year, we declared our primary focus to be on the premium segment. Even in a difficult environment of domestic competition and market consolidation, we have done well and increased the sales of Pilsner Urquell premium lager by 1%. There is also a growing interest in the special beers and innovations in our portfolio.”

Plzeňský Prazdroj sold a total of 7.9 million hl of beer in the domestic market. The 3% year-on-year decline is particularly due to lower sales of economy as well as some draft beers.

“The entire Czech beer market has seen a slightly negative volume trend compared to the record 2007 year. The outstanding sales results in 2007 reflected the very positive impact of warm weather in Spring, during which record volumes were sold. In 2008, excellent sales were achieved towards the end of the year,” explains Jaromír Žáček, the Sales & Distribution Director.

Gambrinus continues to be the best selling brand across the Czech beer market. In Moravia, Radegast has maintained its position as the best selling brand. Pilsner Urquell achieved record sales in December and the total last year's volume increased by about 1 %. Another premium brand Radegast Birell improved its position as the leading non alcoholic brand in the Czech Republic. The volumes grew by more than 15 %. In addition, the popularity of special beers is growing. The volumes of Master Dark and Semi-Dark were up 17 %; with the Master brand being only available at selected restaurants and pubs.

Last year, Plzeňský Prazdroj also enhanced its portfolio of brands. The volumes of the malt beverage Frisco recorded robust growth of more than 47 % also thanks to the re-launch of the brand and the introduction of a new variant, Frisco Dry. The new Gambrinus 11° Excellent variant, launched in November, is already reflecting good growth.

Export highest over the entire 166 years' history

The brands in the Plzeňský Prazdroj portfolio have continued to build the excellent reputation of Czech beer worldwide. Compared to 2007, foreign sales including licensed production grew by 1 %, to 2.79 million hl.

The more than 4 % growth in exports means that in 2008, people outside the Czech Republic drank a total of 881 thousand hl of beer brewed in the three breweries of Plzeňský Prazdroj. That is, the export volumes again crossed the bar set in 2007 and were the best ever in the 166 years' history of the company. Pilsner Urquell, the flagship of SABMiller, had the highest share of exports, with over 80 thousand hl. Also the export of Gambrinus was a success, with volumes up by more than 15 %. Velkopopovický Kozel was the third strongest growing export brand, increasing its volumes by more than one fourth. 

Among over 50 export markets, the core countries continue to be in Germany, the U.S., Slovakia, Scandinavia, and also Hungary, Italy and Spain. Recently, the beer from Pilsen has also been tasted in Qatar.

Notes for editors:

  • With total sales of 10.7 million hectolitres in the calendar year 2008 (including licensed production abroad) and exports to more than 50 countries around the world, Plzeňský Prazdroj is a major beer producer in the region and the largest exporter of Czech beer.
  • Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s. is a member of the global group SABMiller plc. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
  • SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The SABMiller brand portfolio consists of international brands such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as almost 200 other successful regional and national brands. Outside the U.S., SABMiller is one of the world's largest producers and distributors of Coca-Cola products.

Jiří Mareček
Manager external communication
Tel.: +420 724 617 219

PPAS sales volumes (million hl)




Domestic market


8.15 (+0.5%)

7.9 (-3%)


Licensed production


1.91 (+6.7%)

1.91 (0%)



0.85 (+7.7%)

0.88 (+4%)

Foreign sales total


2.76 (+7%)

2.79 (+1%)



10.9 (+2.1%)

10.7 (-2%)