• Nine-month net profits slip by 6.8% to INR1.19bn (US$24m)
  • Net sales jump by 36% to INR26.38bn
  • Operating profits drop by 9.7% to INR1.64bn 

United Breweries has reported a jump in nine-month beer sales, but profits were damaged by higher packaging, advertising and finance costs. 

The Vijay Mallya-controlled brewer gained a further 2 percentage points of volume market share in India over the nine months to the end of December, it said today (7 February). Group volume sales rose by 6% on the same period of the previous year, said the brewer, which is part of Mallya's UB Group but is also 37.5%-owned by Heineken.

Net sales for the period jumped by 36% to INR26.38bn (US$536m), thanks to stronger consumer demand and also the one-time benefit of acquisitions. In particular, the states of Maharashta and West Bengal returned to growth for the company.

However, the performance did not translate into better profits. Higher packaging costs saw nine-month operating profits fall by 9.7% to INR1.64bn, while net profits slipped by 6.8% to INR1.19bn.

In the third quarter, United Breweries saw net sales rise by 24% to INR9.6bn. However, operating profits fell by 49% to INR214.3m, mostly as a result of higher packaging costs. Net profits fell by 4% to INR286.2m.

The group's share price remained broadly flat following the results release.

To view the figures, click here.