Hungarian brewing force, Brau Union Hungaria Rt, which is 85.3%-owned by the Austrian beer group, Brau Union AG, posted a pre-tax profit of HUF1.1 billion ($4.1m) in the first half of 2002, down 29.8% from the first half of 2001.

The company attributed the decline to rising costs. Sales revenues rose by 11.8% to HUF16.1 billion, with beer sales reaching HUF15 billion, up by 8.5%.

However, in volume terms, beer sales increased by just 0.8% to 934,900 hls, considerably below the sector growth of 4.7%. Consequently, Brau Union's market share fell from 27.8% to 26.7% in the period under review.