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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 18 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian breweries recorded a turnover of 480 million levs ($275.6 million/245.4 million euro) last year, up from 350 million levs in 2017, the Union of Brewers in Bulgaria (UBB) said on Thursday.
Beer imports amounted to 308,000 hectolitres, while exports totalled 187,000 hectolitres, marking 44% growth year-on-year, the union said in a statement.
The volume of beer sales in Bulgaria increased by 1.8% to 5.5 million hectolitres last year, with consumption per capita of 75 litres.
Despite good 2018 results Bulgarian brewers are not quite optimistic in their forecasts for the country's beer market in 2019, UBB said. Rainy weather at the start of the summer season and the drop in tourist numbers have already led to a 4-5% decrease in sales.
In 2018, investments in the brewing sector grew to 46 million levs, compared to 41.1 million levs in 2017. In the first half of 2019 investments have already exceeded 21 million levs.
Last year, brewing companies in Bulgaria expanded their portfolios by 35 new products.
There are 27 operating breweries in the country, according to UBB data.
UBB members include Zagorka, part of Dutch group Heineken; Kamenitza, owned by U.S.-based Molson Coors; Carlsberg Bulgaria, part of Danish brewer Carlsberg, and locally-owned brewers Boliarka VT, Britos and Lomsko Pivo.
(1 euro = 1.95583)