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Oct 01, 2009 12:20 EEST
SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 1 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian brewer Boliarka expects its market share to edge up to 10% by the year's end from current 9.5% despite a likely fall in sales, the company's executive director Anton Nenov said.
Boliarka closed 2008 with a net profit of 205,000 levs ($153,000/105,000 euro) on sales of 31.5 million levs.
"We expect the results to be unchanged or better as we are already implementing an anti-crisis programme aimed at optimising costs that will enable us to keep affordable end prices,” Nenov told SeeNews in an interview.
Boliarka, based in the northern city of Veliko Tarnovo, produces the Boliarka, Balkansko, Schweik, King’s and Kaltenberg brands, and imports the Warsteiner brand. It sold 490,200 hectolitres of beer last year. Revenue is expected to fall 8-10 percent this year after summer sales lagged behind expectations.
Despite this pessimistic estimate the company will strive to further strengthen its market position at home in the longer run.
“Of course, the goal of any company is to have a full coverage of the market – geographically, in all niches and segments, and the possibilities for cooperation. Our long-term mission is to make Boliarka a brand of nationwide importance and appeal,” Nenov said.
Over 70 million levs have been invested in the brewery since its privatisation in 1997 by local diversified company Mel Invest Holding, which has its portfolio focused on the farm sector. The brewery is 100% Bulgarian owned. The holding group owns 90% of Boliarka and private individuals hold the balance.
Boliarka employs 370 in the summer, when it operates at full capacity, and 300 during winter months. The holding group posted a consolidated net profit of 28,000 levs in 2008, down from 237,000 levs a year earlier. The group’s consolidated sales dropped 44% to 1.3 million levs in 2008.
Boliarka faces competition from Zagorka (part of Dutch brewing group Heineken), Danish group Carlsberg, Kamenitza (the Bulgarian unit of the world's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev), and domestically-owned brewer Lomsko Pivo.
The combined production of the eight companies that are members of the Union of Brewers in Bulgaria was 5.373 million hectolitres last year, data of the union showed.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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