Royal Unibrew has seen its losses widen in the first three months of this year.

The Danish beer company, which warned in March that high raw material costs and ongoing price competition in Europe were going to hit hard this year, said yesterday that pre-tax losses for the three months to 31 March totalled DKK59.1m (US$10.7m) against losses of DKK51.1m  a year earlier. The rising losses, however, were described by the brewer as being "as expected".

Sales for the quarter, meanwhile, were up by almost 9% to DKK704.6m from DKK648m in value terms, and up by 5% to 1.3m hectolitres from 1.2m in volume terms.

Going forward, Royal Unibrew said it expects pre-tax profits for the full-year to come in between DKK330m and DKK370m, with total sales expected to hit between DKK4bn and DKK4.5bn.

Late last year, Royal Unibrew acquired controlling interests in Dominica Brewery & Beverages, Antigua Brewery and Antigua PET Plant in the Caribbean.