Olvi is the third largest brewer in Finland, behind Carlsberg-owned Sinebrychoff and Royal Unibrews Hartwall

Olvi is the third largest brewer in Finland, behind Carlsberg-owned Sinebrychoff and Royal Unibrew's Hartwall

Olvi is looking to expand its footprint beyond its domestic market and is exploring acquisition opportunities in Belarus and the Baltic states.

The Finnish brewer and soft drink producer said late last week that it will invest EUR40m (US$55.2m) in a range of canning, recycling and logistics projects. The spend, which is expected to be spread throughout 2014, could be backed by strategic acquisitions of brewing and drinks distribution companies in the Baltics and Belarus.

Primary investment projects will focus on canning line efficiency, transport logistics, automated packing and warehouse upgrades to bottling facilities in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus.

The news follows the announcement last week that Olvi boosted its net sales in the first nine months of this year by 9.2% on the corresponding period a year earlier, to EUR257.2m. Rising exports of the Angry Birds soft drinks brand, produced under licence from Finnish gaming firm Rovio, was credited with driving Olvi’s export performance.

The company will also invest to reinforce its export and tax-free business, which represented 14.2% of sales in the first nine months of this year. In the same period in 2012, exports and tax-free accounted for only 4.3% of total sales.