Ursus leaves Heineken behind

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Romania's top two brewers, Ursus Breweries and Heineken, exceeded 200 million-euro sales last year, the Ziarul financiar reads on Aug.25 .
The domestic subsidiaries of beer multinationals last year generated cumulated turnover worth 764.4 million euros, up 28.1% from the figures reached two years ago. At the same time, the profits derived by the top four players reached 121.8 million euros, 22.4% higher against 2006 and triple the level reached three years ago, Finance Ministry's website reads.
 
Ursus Breweries, part of SABMiller South-African group, boasted the biggest turnover increase, of 47.7%, last year, 278.2 million euros. Heineken Romania, the domestic subsidiary of the Dutch group of the same name, also overshot the 200 million-euro mark last year, but by only 7.7 million euros, and thus relinquished the top position to its main rival, Ursus, according to the same source.
 
The gap between the top two brewers' turnovers will most likely narrow down this year after Heineken integrates Bere Mures, which was acquired in March. Bere Mures ended last year with turnover worth 53.4 million euros and net income worth 12.7 million euros, according to Finance Ministry data.Heineken continues to lead the beer market, but only in terms of income, after the brewer generated net income worth 44.3 million euros last year, up 65.2% from 2006, according to Finance Ministry data.
 
At the same time, Ursus Breweries derived income worth 40.4 million euros, only 15% higher than in the previous year, when it saw profits worth 35.1 million euros, the same newspaper says.The second position in terms of income growth is held by the domestic subsidiary of Belgium's InBev brewer, the producer of Bergenbier, which ended 2007 with 188.1 million-euro turnover, up 18.8% and net income worth 31.9 million euros, 49.7% higher compared with the figures reached two years ago.
 
The fourth multinational in the beer industry, URBB, last year saw its turnover go up by only 9% year-on-year and reached 90.4 million euros, while its net income dropped from 16.3 million euros to 5.2 million euros.Out of the 19.4 million hectolitres of beer sold in Romania in 2007, the four multinationals sold 15.5 million hectolitres, up 20.2% from 2006, the Ziarul financiar concluded.
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