Baltic Beverages Holding has posted another strong set of figures, with third quarter sales and operating profit both registering impressive increases.

The jont venture between Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle said today (7 November) that operating profit for the three months to the end of September rose by 18.2% year on year, hitting EUR232m (US$340.4m). Sales for the quarter were up by 28.3% at EUR878m.

For the first nine months of 2007, both operating profit and sales leapt by around a third. Operating profit for the year so far rose 33.2% to EUR526m, with sales up 33.4% to EUR2.19bn.

In volume terms, sales increased for the nine-month period by 24.5%, driven by a 17.3% lift in the Russian beer market over the year so far.

In the Baltics, BBH saw its share of the beer market for the nine months inch up 0.3 percentage points to 44.8%, while in Ukraine, market share was up by 2.2 percentage points to 20.2%. Share in the Kazakh beer market was also up, by 5.2 percentage points to 43.6%.

"Following the continued momentum in Russia, we are raising our full year guidance for volume growth of the Russian beer market to 13-15%," the company said. "Despite rising input costs and relatively higher growth from the less established and lower margin markets, the EBIT margin for 2007 is expected to be broadly in line with FY 2006 at around 22.5%.

"Going forward, we believe there is still ample scope for volume uplift in the Russian market, as well as strong growth potential through mix and pricing improvement, and continued share gains. In addition, other BBH markets such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan will become more important growth drivers as these countries develop further."