Scottish & Newcastle has posted a rise in sales at its Eastern European joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH). The UK-based company said today (8 November) that sales for the third quarter of this year were up by 21% year-on-year, reaching EUR555m at its joint venture with Carlsberg.

EBITDA for the period was also up, by 15% to EUR168m, while operating profit came in up 12% at EUR133m.

For the first nine months of this year, BBH has seen net sales increase by 20% year-on-year to EUR1.37bn, with EBITDA and operating profit rising by 21% to EUR383m and by 22% to EUR285m respectively.

In volume terms, BBH outstripped the total Russian market, with 5% growth for the first nine months of this year, by posting 13% growth for the period.

In the third quarter, BBH's market share in Russia grew by 1 percentage point to 36.9% compared to the third quarter of 2004. For the nine-month period to September market share was 2.9% points higher at 36.5%.

In Ukraine, BBH's third quarter domestic volumes grew by 25% showing a reversal of the negative performance in the first half, the company said. For the nine months to September, volumes grew by 9% but market share declined to 19.4%, 4.3% points lower than in the previous year. "Ukraine continues to be a very vibrant market, volume +24% for 9 months, and BBH is committed to improving its position," the company said. In the Baltics, BBH's third quarter domestic volumes were up by 7%. For the 9 months, volume growth is now +6%.

Commenting on the company's plans to integrate its Russian operations, the statement said: "BBH remains confident of achieving the integration of its Russian operations and that it will deliver clear benefits to all shareholders. Communication to shareholders is in progress and independent valuations of all businesses will be presented to shareholders in due course. In the mean time project teams focused on sharing best practice continue to work in parallel to the legal integration process."