Baltika has posted an impressive rise in H1 net profit. The brewer, Russia's largest, said today (24 August) that net income for the six months to 31 June increased by 46% year-on-year to €81.4m from €55.7m on revenues up to €449.6m from €363.6m.

In a statement, Baltika said that sales volumes for the period were up by 22% while the overall Russian beer market rose by only 3.6%. The company's market share subsequently increased in the period by 3.6% against the corresponding period in 2004 to 24.1%.

Exports, primarily to Kazakhstan and Belarus as well as western Europe, grew in the first half of 2005 by 24% to 71.5m litres.

Production and raw material costs dipped by 9.5%, aiding profits, while Baltika managed to cut administration costs per unit of production "significantly."

The brewer, which is controlled by Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle's joint venture, Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), warned that, although it expects "strong financial results" for the full year, growth in the second half of this year will look weaker compared to a strong corresponding period a year earlier.

Commenting on minority shareholder objections to BBH's integration plans for its Russian breweries, Baltika said: "Despite complications which have arisen, Baltika is confident of success. The plans for integrating the BBH Group companies in Russia will deliver clear benefits to all shareholders."