The brewer, which also has the leading position in Ukraine, reported that net sales rose 52.5 per cent to €349.4 million brought, bought about by brand innovations and promotions during the period. But growth in net income during the period was the most spectacular, up 344.8 per cent to €21.8 million.
Quarterly results were similarly strong with net income growing by 88 per cent to 21.8 million and net sales increasing 47.8 per cent to €215.7 million.
Sales and profit figures were likewise driven by strong volume growth with production up 28.3 per cent for the first six months, to 9.7 million hecolitres. The company said that this confirmed its ability to grow ahead of the market, both in Ukraine and Russia.
Th strong results came about despite the the negative impact of the euro exchange rate, which led to a loss of €3.4 million for the six month period, as well as mounting distribution costs, which added €1.0 per hecolitre during the period. The company said that this was caused by increased logistics costs due to higher volumes flows between Eastern and Western provinces as well as railway tarrif increases.
Looking specifically at the Russian market, total beer volumes were reported to have grown by 37 per cent during the six month period, up from 4.98 million hecolitres in 2003 to 6.82 million hecolitres this year, increasing the brewer's market share for the period from 14.0 per cent to 16.4 per cent.
Both local premium and global brands were said to have continued their growth. In particular Stella Artois grew by 58 per cent, whilst sales of Staropramen grew by 122 per cent for the six month period.
Moving to the Ukraine market, beer volumes were up by 11.4 per cent to 2.9 million hecolitres for the six month period, whilst sales of soft drinks grew 2.3 per to 0.7 million hecolitres, increasing the market share from 33.9 per cent to 34.4 per cent
Looking to the future, Sun Interbrew said that it was expecting to build on its diversified portfolio of brands with a continued focus on higher margin products. This policy will continue to be coupled with a 'strong' control over costs, which it said would help counterbalance the negative impact of rising glass bottle and malt prices.
These company added that these measures, already in effect during the past six months, would continue to be implemented alongside a strategy aimed at growing volumes.