SABMiller has bagged the number two spot among premium brewers in the Russian beer market, the company said yesterday. In a presentation at the group's headquarters in London yesterday, Alan Clark, managing director of SABMiller Europe, said that sales in Russia had pushed the group to second place in the premium sector, even though it only ranks seventh overall in the country.

"In Russia, we are focussing our efforts on the premium sector," Clark said. "We don't have any economy or mainstream brands, and we have no plans to introduce any."

Despite the potential for growth in the country, Clark said the company was cautious about immediate takeovers to boost its share.

"We will continue to assess opportunities, but we will not rush into acquisitions," Clark said.
Clark also said that the current lack of consolidation in Russia was working in SABMiller's favour. "We are number seven (in Russia) in market share. We prefer an unconsolidated market in the country," he told journalists.

The group has a brewery at Kaluga, 180 km southwest of Moscow which produces local brands Zolotaya Botchka and Tri Bogatyria and its international brews Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell.