Lithuanian beer market grows in warm winter

  • 2000-03-09
VILNIUS (BNS) - The Lithuanian beer market grew by 21 percent in February compared with the previous month, thanks to the relatively warm winter and other factors, according to data from the Lithuanian Brewers' Association.

The country's 10 largest breweries sold 1.222 million decaliters of beer in total last month. The association's vice-president, Audrius Vidzys, attributed the market growth to the favorable weather conditions, the launch of new types of beer by producers and more active marketing policies.

February sales soared 37.6 percent this year versus the respective 1999 period, the data showed. A sharp increase in sales propelled Svyturys to the top position among local brewers. The Klaipeda-based company sold 389,000 dal of beer last month, a surge of 64.8 percent year-on-year and of 56.2 percent against January 2000.

Utenos Alus came in second with a 23 percent increase in February sales compared with the previous month. The company sold 310,000 dal of beer last month, up from 252,000 dal in January and 100,000 dal in February 1999. Kalnapilis sold 209,000 dal of beer in February this year, a drop of 2 percent from the figure for January and a decrease of 0.5 percent versus February 1999. Birzu Alus increased its sales by 31 percent in February against January, the steepest rise among smaller breweries, after the launch of a new bottling line. Svyturys had a market share of 31.8 percent in January this year, followed by Utenos Alus with 25.4 percent, Kalnapilis with 17.1 percent, Vilniaus Tauras with 10 percent, Ragutis with 6.4 percent, and Gubernija with 4.7 percent.