Cobra Beer is looking to up its footprint in India with the hope of securing five more breweries in the country, according to local reports.

The UK-based premium beer company, which earlier this summer reported a net loss for the year to the end of July 2007 of GBP13m (US$25.4m), compared to a net loss in the previous fiscal year of GBP4.5m, is thought to be targeting the new breweries to exploit growing per capita consumption in India.

Newspaper Business Standard claimed yesterday (9 September) that Cobra, which currently has seven breweries in the country, intends to add five greenfield breweries by 2012. The company is exploring opportunities in Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, the paper said.

Cobra's CEO, Karan Billimoria, was cited as saying: "We have raised GBP15m from existing investors to fund our plans of expanding operations in India and the UK.

"The way the Indian beer market is growing, we have set a target of 20m cases a year by 2012."

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Cobra said: "We are certainly looking to expand our brewing strategy in India. That is definitely a necessity." The spokesperson declined to give further specific details about the company's intentions in the country.