SABMiller has confirmed plans to launch its premium international beer brand, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, in Russia.

The company said today (23 April) that entering the Russian market is part of the Italian brand's GBP25m (US$50m) global roll-out and will coincide with an installation in the country of dresses by Italian fashion designer Antonio Berardi, twinning the brand with Italian style. 

SABMiller Russia's managing director James Wilson said: "Russians have long had a love affair with all things Italian, associating their goods with elegance, craftsmanship and authenticity. They are becoming increasingly demanding and appreciate brands with quality, strong heritage and international appeal, all values embodied by Peroni Nastro Azzurro."

SABMiller's international brand director for Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Chris Taylor, added: "Peroni Nastro Azzurro's unique Italian style positioning, as well as the huge opportunities opening up in the Eastern markets, means the brand is well placed to be very successful in Russia."

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is now present in 13 markets, including India, the UK, the US and Italy.

Last week, SABMiller reported that sales for the 12 months to the end of March hit the top end of expectations, as the company benefited from what it described as "successful revenue management and enhanced productivity" as well as favourable exchange rates in some of its major countries. The group's lager volume growth was 11% for the year with organic growth of 7%. Revenue grew by some 16%, benefiting from price increases and mix improvements, which have offset the impact of higher input costs.