Saku Olletehas has begun producing Scottish & Newcastle's Strongbow cider brand in Estonia.

The brewer, which is 75%-owned by S&N's Eastern European joint venture with Carlsberg, Baltic Beverages Holding, confirmed to just-drinks today (21 August) that it started making the cider under licence earlier this month. Saku said it is targeting 200,000 litres of sales in its first five months with the brand.

A spokesperson for Saku said that it received the licence to produce Strongbow in its home country a month ago. "We spent nine months getting the licence," the spokesperson said. The cider is now available in both the on- and off-trade.

The company is hoping sales of Strongbow will help it become market leader in the Estonian cider market.

Earlier this year, Saku posted a strong leap in profits for its first quarter of 2007. Operating profit for the period rose to EEK24m (US$2.07m) from EEK9.3m in the corresponding period a year earlier. The impressive performance came on the back of a 44% increase in sales, which came in at EEK181m.