The top brewers in Poland saw a fall in beer consumption in the country of 1% to 4.775m hectolitres in the first quarter of 2003, with the whole market slumping by 3%, the Polish brewers association ZPPP said yesterday.
In the report, the top brewers accounted for 94% of all sales in Poland.
Poor weather, the tough financial conditions and tax cuts on hard liquor, boosting vodka sales, were all blamed for the fall in sales.
Beer producers are now calling for a similar tax cut on their products. The high taxes, they say, are not only affecting domestic sales but hurting exports by making them uncompetitive compared to foreign neighbours.
Despite the poor quarter, the top three brewers SABMiller’s Kompania Piwowarska, Heineken’s Zywiec and Carlsberg’s Okocim remain confident.
The beer market in general is still expected to grow by some 2% to 3% this year.
Carlsberg Okocim, Poland’s third-largest brewing group, sold 660,000 hectolirers of beer in the first quarter, a 1.5% year-on-year decline. But the company maintains its forecasts that beer sales will grow by 10% in full-year 2003.