LITHUANIA: Carlsberg launches locally-brewed beer in Lithuania

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The first locally-brewed Carlsberg beer in bottles and on draught will be officially presented to the Lithuanian market on September 16.Carlsberg gained control over the Lithuanian Svyturys brewery in April 1999. Svyturys has fulfilled the technical requirements in order to reach the high quality standards required for brewing the Carlsberg brand. It will be the only locally-produced international premium lager on the Lithuanian market. Surveys show that there is an unsatisfied demand in the segment.The Carlsberg brand has been available in Lithuania as an import from Copenhagen since 1990. Lithuanians regard themselves a beer-drinking nation. Beer consumption per capita rose from 34.5 litres in 1995 to 54.8 litres in 1999 and is expected to grow further.Svyturys is Lithuania's oldest brewery. Today Carlsberg holds 57% of the shares. The two other main investors are The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (19.9%) and Danish-based Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe (20.1%). Svyturys, which employs approximately 300 people, is listed on the Vilnius Stock Exchange.During the first six months of 2000 Svyturys became market leader with a market share of 26% ahead of its two main competitors Utenos (23%) and Kalnapilis (22%).

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