Spanish brewer Damm has posted a 33% drop in net profit to EUR51.3m for 2008, hurt by capital expenditure charges and investment losses.

Sales increased 4.6% to EUR755m for the year, but could not offset charges related to a EUR137m investment to expand the business and unquantified losses in the firm's stock market portfolio, the company said late last week.

Barcelona-based Damm, which owns the Estrella brand, added that sales fell sharply after the summer, when Spain's economic crisis worsened.

Last year's investments went to expand the company's Barcelona port operations, its Prat de Llobregat factory, and the launch of two new beer labels: Estrella Damm Inedit and non-alcohol Free Damm Lemon.

Damm also cut its headcount to 2,223 from 2,345.