Grolsch hit by UK beer slump

12 February, 2008

Grolsch said its beer sales in the UK fell by more than 10 per cent last year, in what the brewer called a “sharply declining market”.

Grolsch, which has a joint venture with Coors in the UK, also lost share in the UK’s premium lager sector during the year.

The Dutch brewer reported its last financial results as an independent company on Tuesday, after a takeover by SABMiller was finalised last week.

A 20 per cent rise in volume sales in other international markets, particularly Russia and Kazakhstan, helped Grolsch to offset problems in the UK.

Domestic sales also bucked a declining market thanks to a new green, returnable bottle launched in the first half of last year, chairman Ab Pasman said.

The brewer’s net sales rose five per cent to €333m, while net profits increased four per cent to €20m.

Grolsch is set to unveil the fifth generation version of its famous swing-top bottle in the Netherlands this April.

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