Dramatic increase in excise tax in January 2010 in combination with difficult economic conditions resulted in decline of the overall beer market. Plze?sk? Prazdroj was no exception to this trend* and its sales domestically and aboard declined by 6% in annual comparison. Total sales of Plze?sk? Prazdroj on the domestic and international markets reached 9.9 million hectoliters of beer in 2010. On the domestic market Prazdroj maintained the market share on annual basis, with sales of 7 million hl, down by 8% in line with the expectations of the overall market trend*. Exports of Prazdroj’s traditional Czech brands grew by 6% to 0.8 million hl despite challenging conditions. Volumes from licensed production were down by 5%, at 2 million hl.
Doug Brodman, Managing Director of Plze?sk? Prazdroj, comments the full year performance:
“Throughout whole year consumers have been facing uncertainty and economic pressures. The 33% excise tax increase on beer in combination with lower disposable income resulted in weakened consumption. Last year sales were also adversely impacted by lower on-trade traffic and the overall soft performance of draught beer in pubs and restaurants, which was further deepened by lower tourism. Despite this, share of our super-premium portfolio with flagship brand Pilsner Urquell grew. On international markets, we have managed to tackle the adverse situation and grew our exports year-on-year. “
Following a high growth two years ago, the 11-degree segment has continued to enjoy popularity, despite the overall market decline. The ‘elevens’ reported a moderate growth of 1%, underpinning the stable trend of premium beers. Mainstream brands sales were down mainly as a result of softening consumer demand in the on-premise channel.
Plze?sk? Prazdroj launched a number of novelties last year, such as Master 15° Gold or Birell Semi-Dark. In packaging innovations, the Master special beer range gained much interest and generated a double-digit percentage growth in sales, also thanks to the bottle variants. The malt drink Frisco achieved a high growth in sales as well and the non-alcoholic beer Birell recorded a solid single digit growth. As an attraction for pub and restaurant visitors, the offer of beers on tap has been enhanced by seasonal unfiltered variants of the traditional Czech beers Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, and Radegast.
In adverse economic conditions, Plzensky Prazdroj managed to increase export by 6% selling to more than 50 foreign markets. Brand Pilsner Urquell enjoyed popularity on foreign markets, increasing volumes by 5% annually. Velkopopovick? Kozel performed well, exporting to about thirty markets, representing an excellent 28% growth for the brand.
In the upcoming year 2011 Plzensky Prazdroj will develop activities to contribute to the stabilization of the beer market and further development of Czech beer culture.