Heineken's Bulgarian brewing arm Zagorka has said it expects earnings to rise 39% this year.

The brewer, also owned by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Corp., estimates gross profit to hit €5m (US$6m) for 2005, up from €3.6m last year.

Zagorka added that it saw volumes and turnover to stay flat this year. In 2004, Zagorka posted turnover of €100m and sold 1.4bn hectolitres of beer.

The brewer has invested €2.5m in a PET bottling line to capitalise on a booming sector that accounts for half of home beer consumption in Bulgaria.