Carlsberg Breweries A/S has increased its shareholding in Carlsberg Okocim SA in Poland to 79% through the acquisition of a further 4% of the share capital.

The shares have been acquired from the German brewery Bitburger at a price of DKK 41m. The acquisition is part of Carlsberg Breweries' strategy to increase its shareholding in important breweries, the company said.

Poland is the 10th largest beer market in the world. In 2002, the total consumption was 27m hl beer which is equivalent to a yearly per capita consumption of 69 litres. Over the past five years, the annual consumption has increased by approximately 7%.

Carlsberg Okocim has a market share of 14% and Carlsberg is the strongest growing premium brand.