October 21 (SeeNews) - Serbian brewery Apatinska Pivara expects to raise its net profit to 7.4 billion dinars ($11.9 million/7.9 million euro) in the second half of the year from 7.0 billion dinars in the first half, it said.
The company, majority owned by Belgium's InBev, plans to increase its output to 1.66 million hectolitres in the second half of 2009 from 1.58 million hectolitres in the first six months, it said in a statement to the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) on Tuesday. Apatinska plans to sell 1.35 million hectolitres in the local market in the second half.
The brewery plans to invest 1.46 million euro in the July-December period, down from 2.79 million euro it invested through June.
Apatinska Pivara increased sales by 4.2% in terms of volume to 3.6 million hectolitres and raised exports by 6.7% to 640,000 hectolitres last year. The company, which employs close to 1,000, can produce 4.0 million hectolitres a year. It ended last year with a net profit of 2.17 billion dinars, data from Serbia's business registry showed.
The brewery launched exports of its Jelen Pivo brand, which accounts for 80% of its production, to Cuba last year.
Apatinska Pivara's portfolio also includes Beck's, Stella Artois and Niksicko Pivo, among other brands. Jelen Pivo is the top-selling beer in Serbia and neighbouring Bosnia.
The brewery's competitors include Jagodinska Pivara, Beogradska Industrija Piva, majority owned by a consortium of Sweden's United Nordic Beverages and Lithuanian company Alita, and the local units of Carlsberg and Heineken. It is located in the town of Apatin, in the northern province of Vojvodina.
(1 euro=93.1660 Serbian dinars)