Budvar's beer production fell last year while revenue increased, the company announced yesterday. Director Jiri Bocek said yesterday that production dropped by 3.5% year-on-year to 1.171m hectolitres. Domestic sales for the company fell by 9% to 633,000 hectolitres, although exports increased by 5% to 538,000 hectolitres.

Revenues for the year rose by 2% to Kc2.484 billion (US$92.7m) and gross profits are expected to have risen by 24% to Kc350m.

Bocek said that output went down because of growing sales of cheap beers, which Budvar does not produce, and growing competition in the Czech market, especially on the part of Plzensky Prazdroj.

Budvar subsidiaries in Germany and the UK increased sales last year and improved the position of Budvar's premium lager on foreign markets. In Germany, Budweiser Budvar Deutschland saw sales rise by 12.2% to 176,549 hectolitres, while in the UK, Budweiser Budvar UK saw sales leap by 46.7% to 108,000 hectolitres.