United Breweries, India's leading brewer, has reported a 25% rise in net sales, but a dip in net profits for its fiscal full-year.

Net profits for the 12 months to the end of March slipped to INR621m (US$12.6m), down from INR625m in the previous year, United Breweries said in a stock filing this week. Pre-tax profits rose by 9% to just over INR1bn, while operating profits rose by 27%.

Net sales rose by 25% to INR16.7bn for the year. Sales were driven by 23% growth in sales of strong beer, or beer above 5% abv, said the group, which brews the Kingfisher brand and is owned by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya.

It said that its new strong beer, Kingfisher Blue, "has been very well received by the consumers in the selected markets where it has been introduced so far". 

The firm said that it grew market share during its fiscal full-year by increasing volume sales by around 11%, ahead of 10% growth across the beer market as a whole.

United Breweries' share of India's beer market is estimated at just over 40%. Its main competitor, UK-listed SABMiller, has a share of around 38.5%.