Czech Republic’s major brewery Budejovicky Budvar has reported pre-tax profits of CZK298.6m (US$14.6m) for 2009, up by 40% compared to the year before.

The profits jump came despite a sales rise of only 1.2% for the year, to CZK2.041bn.

“The main two reasons behind this growth were cost cutting and the fact that the [local currency] crown depreciated by approximately 10%,” company spokesperson Petr Samec told just-drinks today (2 July).

Currency played into the brewer’s hands because more than 45% of its overall production is being exported.

“The rise in profits definitely wasn’t a result of higher prices, as far as our products go, as these last year went up just slightly,” Samec said.

Budvar‘s volume sales fell by nearly 3% in 2009, to 1.27m hectolitres (hl). Export volumes dipped by 0.3% to 579,947hl.