Grolsch has posted a strong set of results for 2007, despite a struggling performance in the UK, in its final full-year as an independent company.

The Netherlands-based brewer, which is in the process of being acquired by SABMiller, said today (12 February) that net profit last year rose by 4%to EUR19.9m (US$28.9m) from EUR19.2m in 2006. Sales followed suit, climbing by 5% to EUR332.9m, with operating profit up to EUR28.6m from EUR25.7m.

The brewer credited a "strong rise in profit contribution" from its international operations, although volumes in the UK fell by more than 10% in "a sharply declining market".

Sales to retailers in the US leapt by 35% in 2007, thanks to the "growth-focused campaign executed in co-operation with our partner Anheuser-Busch". Volumes in the other international markets grew by more than 20%, with strong growth achieved in Russia and Kazakhstan together with its partner Efes.

"For Grolsch, 2007 was an exceptional year," said Ab Pasman, Grolsch's chairman. "The first half was marked by the introduction of the exclusive new green returnable bottle in the Netherlands, as part of the worldwide redesign of the crown cork bottle. As a result, our Dutch operations achieved growth in both volume and market share in a slightly declining market."

The brewer concluded without issuing a results forecast for 2008, in connection with its acquisition by SABMiller, which is now unconditional.