Burundi brewer Brarudi says sales up 21 pct

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Burundi’s main beer brewer firm Brarudi, majority owned by Heineken NV (HEIN.AS), said on Wednesday its sales of beer and soft drinks rose 21 percent in 2010.
The company said volumes sold increased to 1.99 million hectolitres (hl) from 1.64 million in 2009, lifted by increased spending by more prosperous coffee farmers and higher demand during the country’s elections.
The company said 80 percent of its sales was beer and the rest was soft drinks.
“The coffee harvest was good and coffee producers consumed a lot of beer because of high revenues,” said Brarudi’s corporate relations manager, Alexandra Sindahera.
“Coffee output is the key factor for the increase or fall of our sales,” she told Reuters.
Coffee production for the 2010/11 season is expected to jump to 24,000 tonnes from 6,381 tonnes in the previous year.
The coffee industry employs some 800,000 smallholder farmers in a nation of 8 million people.
Sindahera said the supplies also rose due to a series of elections held in the landlocked country last year.
Brarudi produces beer under the Primus and Amstel brands.