BUSINESS IN SHORT

Slovaks drink more beer

SLOVAK breweries managed to halt the downward trend in the beer consumption in Slovakia last year.

SLOVAK breweries managed to halt the downward trend in the beer consumption in Slovakia last year.

Beer producers sold 3.81 million hectolitres of beer in Slovakia last year. This is about 1.4 percent more than in 2006, said Roman Šusták, the executive director of the Slovak Association of Producers of Beer and Malt, the Sme daily wrote.

Global concerns hold the decisive share of the beer market in Slovakia.

"It seems that after decreases in beer sales between 2003 and 2006, the Slovak beer market has finally started to stabilise," said Šusták. But the beer consumption will return to the level of 2002, when breweries in Slovakia sold 4.73 million hectolitres of beer, only with difficulties, he said.

Beer sales started falling in 2003 after the hike in the excise tax on beer. Šusták is unable to say what helped last year to stabilize the beer industry in Slovakia.

Slovak beer exports continued to shrink last year. It is linked with the increase in the license production of some Slovak beer brands abroad. In 2004 Slovakia exported 184,000 hectolitres of beer. In 2007, beer exports amounted to only 28,500 hectolitres.

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