Belgian Interbrew's Czech unit Prazske Pivovary has narrowed its net losses to CZK179.4m (US$4.9m) in 2001 from CZK789.3m a year before.
Prazske Pivovary, the second-largest Czech brewer, said the loss pushed its equity further into the red, to CZK1.3 billion from CZK1.1 billion at the end of 2000.

Interbrew has a 96% stake in the brewer, which has about a 14% share on the highly competitive Czech beer market.

The firm's sales grew from CZK2.353 billion in 2000 to CZK2.674 billion in 2001, an increase of 13.6%, particularly thanks to an 8.6% increase in beer sales, which reached 2.529m hectolitres.

PP's export activities last year focused on establishing its Staropramen brand on foreign markets. Staropramen exports go mainly to Germany, Sweden, Italy, Slovakia, Russia and the US. Last year, Staropramen also penetrated the Australia, Irish and Baltic countries' markets

Sales of beer in the Czech Republic grew 7.3% last year to 2.219m hl, up from 2.068m hl in 2000, while sales of beer abroad grew 19 % to 310,000 hl, up from 261,000 hl in 2000.