Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), the joint venture between Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle, has reported continued strong growth in Russia, with beer volumes up 16% in July and August, against market growth of 14%.

The company, which has a market-leading 35.6% share of the Russian beer sector with its Baltika brand, said it expects per capita beer consumption in Russia to continue to rise from its current level of 62 litres to 80 litres.

BBH posted net sales for the first half of the current fiscal year of EUR961m (US$1.2bn), up 17.7% from the corresponding period last year. The company added that while Russia currently accounts for 80% of its total growth, going forward it expected to see increasingly significant growth coming from smaller Eastern European countries.

The company currently operates 18 breweries in six Eastern European countries including the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and three Baltic states. BBH's new brewery in Uzbekistan is scheduled to begin production next spring.

Scottish & Newcastle said that a major driver for the exceptional Russian market growth had been the disruption in spirits and wine supply, adding that the newly integrated Baltika sales and distribution network is well positioned to build on the performance in the first half.