CORPORATE BRIEFS

Topvar penetrates Swedish market

Twelve-grade Topvar beer, produced by Topvar a.s. Topolcany, is the only Slovak beer on the Swedish market. The well-known Slovak product is distributed by Hjergard and Son AB, which feeds the beer into its sales network via the Swedish state monopoly System Bolaget. The latter comprises 400 specialised stores offering 2,600 types of alcoholic beverages from 38 countries. Rather than purchasing the alcohol directly, System Bolaget buys it from importers.

All products must meet tough Swedish standards, a requirement met easily by Topvar, which did very well at a recent beer festival in Stockholm, where it ranked among the 7 best brands out of 150.

Topvar is the third biggest Slovak brewery. Sales revenues for the first six months of this year reached 321 million Sk ($8.92 million), a growth of 25% over the same period last year. Gross profit rose by 14% and amounted to 11.1 million Sk ($0.3 mn).

For the first six months of this year, Topvar produced 279 thousand hectolitres of beer. The plan for 1998 is 570 thousand hectolitres. Last year 16% of production was exported to Germany, the US, Finland, Great Britain, Italy and the Commonwealth of Independent States. However, over the first six months of 1998, exports dropped by more than 25% to only 17 thousand hectolitres. This was caused by limits imposed on beer imports to Russia and Ukraine. On the other hand, sales of beer on the local market increased by 3%.

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