Heineken is targeting strong export potential from its newly-acquired brewery in the Czech Republic.

The global brewer confirmed yesterday (14 June) that it has bought Krusovice Brewery from Germany's Radeberger Gruppe for an undisclosed fee.

"This acquisition strengthens our base and provides a strong opportunity to accelerate top-line growth in the Czech market," said Nico Nusmeier, regional president for Central and Eastern Europe at Heineken. "The Krusovice brand is very popular among local consumers and we are confident that, with appropriate commercial investment, this brand has clear potential to grow.

"In addition, we plan to further extend the excellent export position of the Krusovice brand by leveraging the reputation of Czech beers, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe."

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Heineken expanded on the brewer's plans. "It's the potential of Krusovice's brands, both domestically and abroad, that is most exciting," the spokesperson said.

"We want to build the brands in the Central and Eastern European markets," she continued. Heineken has no current plans, however, to extend the coverage for Krusovice's brands outside of the region at this time, however, the spokesperson concluded.

Founded in 1517, the Royal Brewery of Krusovice is situated around 70km west of Prague and employs 300 staff. The brewery has a portfolio in the premium segment of the market, with the main Krusovice brand and five variants, Svetle, Musketyr, Imperial, Cerne and Jubilejní.

In 2006, sales volumes were 700,000 hectolitres. Production capacity is 1m hectolitres with the possibility to expand, Heineken noted. The company accounts for around 3% domestic market share, and the purchase should improve Heineken's position in the country to number three, behind SABMiller and InBev.