Dreher Breweries, the Hungarian subsidiary of British brewer SABMiller, plans to invest millions in upgrading its facilities this year.

The upgrade will involve a reported spend of HUF7bn (US$37.8m) in an attempt to expand and improve Dreher's production capacity, quality and efficiency, according to reports.

Dreher said that although beer consumption in Hungary was steady, it had noticed how consumers had begun switching over to cheaper brands. 

At a press briefing in Hungary last year, the managing director of Dreher Breweries, Hector Gorosabel, said that the introduction of the country's 'austerity programme' would take about 30% off the unit's profits in 2006.

Among the measures introduced as part of the country's austerity programme were a 7% hike in excise taxes, a rise in corporation tax from 15% to 25% and an increase in employer healthcare contributions from 4% to 6%.

Dreher has a staff of around 700 people.