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Major Czech beer exporter and producer announces its sales volume results of the 2006 calendar year

30 January 2007

Prague, January 30, 2007 – In 2006, overall sales of Plzeňský Prazdroj domestic and export brands reached almost 10.7 million hectoliters, representing an increase of 5.7% year-on-year. In particular, export sales made a significant contribution to the increased volumes, including the licensed production of the Plzeňský Prazdroj brands.

In 2006, domestic beer sales reported growth of 2.4%, reaching 8.1 million hectoliters. The highest growth sales growth was recorded in the South Bohemia region (České Budějovice and neighborhood) where it rose by 7% year-on-year. The Pilsner Urquell brand recorded volume growth of 4.6% and Velkopopovický Kozel, with 10.3% growth, achieved its best year-on-year result. The company saw good growth across all Velkopopovický Kozel packaging units, but the best performance was achieved in [draft] barrel beer, with a 22% year-on-year change.

Pilsner Urquell and Velkopopovický Kozel – Czech ambassadors abroad

Plzeňský Prazdroj confirmed its position as the largest exporter and producer of the Czech beer abroad. Overall sales volumes of Plzeňský Prazdroj brands abroad grew by a record 17.5%, compared to 2005. Sales of Pilsner Urquell contributed to this achievement, however Velkopopovický Kozel enjoyed significant success in markets with licensed production. In total, Plzeňský Prazdroj exported 786,000 hectoliters of beer (+10.6%), comprising Pilsner Urquell lager with 646,000 hectoliters (+12.7%) and the other brands, mainly Velkopopovický Kozel, make up the rest.

Mike Short, General Director of Plzeňský Prazdroj, stated: “2006 was a year of great success and development for Plzeňský Prazdroj. Our sales results show how efficiently we used the extremely warm June, which became the most successful month in the history of Plzeňský Prazdroj, with 910,000 hectoliters of beer sold."

“Despite the seasonal swing over the summer, our 2006 domestic sales were characterized by the overall stability of the market.  We have achieved good export and have started exporting Plzeňský Prazdroj brands to three more countries (Honduras, Oman and Turkey) and you can therefore buy our beer in 53 countries throughout the world.”

“We have increased our exports mainly to the EU countries – Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Denmark, France and the Scandinavian countries.  The Pilsner Urquell lager is now Number One among the imported beers in Germany. In particular, increased marketing activities of Plzeňský Prazdroj and SABMiller on the relevant markets supported the sales growth.

“The strictly controlled license production of some of our brands on the carefully selected markets in the neighboring countries has shown a very positive development dynamics. Especially the sales of the Velkopopovický Kozel brand, which benefits from its growing reputation of a high quality traditional Czech beer with acceptable price, have been growing.

We are also pleased with the slight increase of our share of the domestic market achieved under harsh competition conditions.  Our concentration on the key brands, support to domestic and foreign production and careful monitoring of the customers' needs will create the prerequisite for our successful business on the brewery market also  in the years to come."

Most important facts and trends of 2006 from the viewpoint of Plzeňský Prazdroj:

  • Growing sales of the key brands - Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Velkopopovický Kozel and Radegast Birell on the domestic market.
  • Pilsner Urquell reported a 10.6% growth in exports and became the best-sold imported beer e.g. in Germany.
  • The company completed large investments in the Plzeň brewery (modernization of the brewing room, construction of a racking room and installation of new cylinder-conical tanks) oriented on an increase of production capacity of the Pilsner Urquell brand and on strengthening its flavor stability. This, historically largest investment of Plzeňský Prazdroj (CZK 1 billion) will help satisfy mainly the growing export demands.

Notes for Editors:

  • With its overall sales exceeding 10.7 million hectoliters in the calendar year of 2006 and with exports to more than 50 countries of the whole world Plzeňský Prazdroj, a. s. is a major beer producer in the region and the largest export of the Czech beer.
  • Plzeňský Prazdroj, a. s. is a member of the SABMiller plc global group. 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 five continents. The group's brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world. In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$15,307 million in revenue and profit before tax of $2,453 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Contact:
Vladimír Jurina
724 617 886
Corporate Affairs Department

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