Finnish brewer and soft drinks group Olvi has enjoyed a leap in first-half profits on the back of a "substantial improvement" in domestic earnings.

The company yesterday (17 August) posted operating profit of EUR8m (US$10.3m) for the first six months of the year, up EUR4.7m on a year earlier. Olvi saw profits in Finland more than double to EUR3.1m.

Olvi, Finland's third-largest brewer, reported a 12.7% rise in net turnover to EUR80.3m as revenues rose across its business. The company also owns brewing and soft drinks interests across the Baltic region that are controlled by Estonian holding company A. Le Coq.

Olvi reported a slight fall in sales volumes in Finland although the slide was more than offset by rising volumes across the Baltic region.

The company controls around half of Estonia's beer market and has a 20% share of the Latvian beer market. In Lithuania, Olvi holds an 11% of the country's beer market.

In June, the firm signed a deal with Heineken to distribute the Dutch brewer's flagship brand in Finland