Carlsberg Beer was launched in Romania yesterday joining its sister brand, Tuborg, in the expanding central European market.

The beer is brewed and packaged by United Romanian Breweries, in which Carlsberg Breweries has an indirect stake of 15.5%.

Speaking at the launch at the World Trade Centre in Bucharest, Carlsberg Breweries marketing director Alex Myers explained the reasons for entering the market.

"Romania is an extremely attractive country for us, having a strategic location in this part of Europe and a huge developing potential. After the success in Romania by Tuborg, we thought that the moment has come to launch one more international beer brand on the local market - namely the 'crown jewel' of our group, the Carlsberg brand," he said.

Myers said that despite the higher price of Carlsberg, Romanian consumers were ready for the brand.

The launch campaign for Carlsberg Beer, by the local agency Prospero, will be backed by an e-mail campaign, tv ads and a locally developed print series.

The United Romanian Breweries plant was officially opened in May 1998 with a start-up capacity of 500,000 hl. Today, it has 400 employees. United Romanian Breweries was ISO 9002 certified in 1999 as the first company in the Romanian beverage and foodstuffs industry. Production capacity was recently expanded with a canning line, which was inaugurated in May 2000.

The entire plant covers 21,000 square metres and is one of the most modern of Carlsberg Breweries' European breweries.