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Record Growth of Non-alcoholic Beer Consumption

2 April 2009

Sales of the best-selling Radegast Birell increased hundredfold in last 15 years

Prague, April 1st 2009 - Non-alcoholic beer is increasingly popular in the Czech Republic. As confirmed by the recently announced results from the Czech Beer and Malt Association, last year, the amount of non-alcoholic beer produced, exports included, increased 16 percent year-on-year to 597,000 hl. Domestic market saw 14 percent increase of non-alcoholic beer sales which approached 500,000 hl mark - exactly 495,679 hl. Most popular is still Radegast Birell by Plzeňský Prazdroj which accounts for two out of three non-alcoholic beers sold in the Czech Republic.

Last year, its production for the Czech Republic exceeded 320,000 hl. Production of Radegast Birell began in 1993, when 3,275 hl was produced. Since then, its production has increased nearly hundredfold. An extensive survey* among beer consumers proved Radegast Birell to be not only the most popular, but also the best known non-alcoholic beer brand. 70 percent of responders know the brand. In the non-alcoholic beer consumers (males ages 25-50), it's actually 99 percent of responders.

 "Non-alcoholic beer gradually gained a stable position on the Czech beer market. Besides drivers and cyclists it gets increasingly popular with people at work, in restaurants, at home or in the garden. Substantial increase in non-alcoholic beer consumption is related mostly to the change in lifestyle and drivers' responsibility," says Radegast Birell brand manager Vladimír Vaněk.

About half of the respondents treat themselves to a non-alcoholic beer at least once a week. According to the survey*, the most favorite season for non-alcoholic beer is traditionally summer. People drink it most often with meals, during work, driving a car or on a bike.

Radegast Birell is also largely successful in quality competitions - during the last four years, it scored in the second largest international competition, the Australian International Beer Awards. Last year it was also successful in the Zlatý pohár Pivex 2008 competition and was a clear winner of the world's most major competition of beer brands World Beer Cup 2008.

*source: survey by TNS AISA for Radegast Birell, December 2008

Further information:
Vladimír Jurina, company brand manager, Plzeňský Prazdroj, phone: +420 257 287 223
Anna Balíčková, AMI Communications, phone: +420 234 124 112, +420 724 012 607

- Radegast Birell is the only non-alcoholic beer in the Plzeňský Prazdroj portfolio, and also the bestselling Czech non-alcoholic beer.
- Plzeňský Prazdroj, a. s., is a member of SABMiller plc global group.
- With total sales of 10.9 million hectoliters in the year 2007 and with exports to more than 55 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj, a. s., is the leading beer producer in the region and the largest exporter of Czech beer.

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