Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle are losing market share in Russia, according to figures from its rival brewer Sun Interbrew. Carlsberg believes, however, that as the year progresses, this will be found not to be the case.

Speaking to Borsen newspaper in Denmark, Christian Ramm-Schmidt, executive director of Baltic Beverages Holding - the east European joint venture between the two companies - said that the Russian market appears to be growing anywhere from 7% to 21%.

Ramm-Schmidt told the paper: "We have from various distributors gotten documentation that Sun Interbrew up to the high season extends credit terms so that inventories can be filled up and thereby avoid capacity problems."

Ramm-Schmidt added, however, that "we have to get further into the year" to get a better basis for comparison and a more accurate reading of the numbers.