OREANDA-NEWS. On 16 May 2008 was announced, that at the end of April 2008, Baltika Breweries unloaded its first export shipment of beer to Italy. By the middle of May, in time for the tourist season, the beer brands Baltika, Nevskoye and Yarpivo will be available for sale in retail stores around the country. Italy has thus become the 47th export market of Baltika Breweries.

The Italian beer market holds strategic interest for Baltika Breweries. In the course of the past ten years, the imported segment of the market has steadily grown in that country and at the end of 2006 its share amounted to 28%. Beer consumption per capita also has shown a steady increase: in the period from 2004 through 2006, this rise amounted to 76%. The growth in beer consumption comes at the expense of wine consumption: young consumers more frequently prefer beer.

Baltika Breweries is planning to begin shipments to the most economically developed regions of Italy: the provinces of Lombardy, Veneto, Emiglia-Romagna and Campania.

Today the main importers of beer into Italy are the producers of Holland and Germany, whose products are mainly represented in the premium and mainstream segments. The respective shares of these segments in the Italian beer market are 34% and 51% (according to data from Assobirra for 2006).

The population of Italy is 60 million, putting the country in the 22nd place worldwide in terms of number of inhabitants. Those aged between 15 and 64 represent 66.5% of the whole population, and they are approximately evenly split between the number of men and women.

Ekaterina Zezkova, Sales Manager for Europe of Baltika Breweries, commented as follows: ‘When planning the assortment of our first shipment, we considered the preferences of Italian beer consumers, their search for diversity and for a beverage with a good ‘rich’ flavour. In the Baltika beer line-up, we are represented both by traditional lager varieties and by unfiltered Baltika №8 Wheat beer, dark Baltika №6 and Baltika №9 strong beer. For a young and active population, we offer Baltika Cooler and Nevskoye ICE.’

Baltika Breweries already successfully exports its beer to fifteen countries of the European Union, including Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France, Greece, Latvia and Malta. The 2007 results show that export sales in this region increased by +19%.

Baltika Breweries is the largest FMCG company in Russia. Ever since 1996, it has been the leader on the Russian beer market. The Company comprises 11 breweries across all of Russia. It has a wide portfolio of brands and its employees number more than 12,000. Baltika Breweries is the leading exporter of Russian beer to neighbouring countries and to markets around the world: it accounts for 70% of all export shipments of Russian beer. Baltika products are exported to 47 countries.