SABMiller has officially opened its third brewery in Russia

SABMiller has officially opened its third brewery in Russia

SABMiller's subsidiary in Russia has warned of declining beer sales, despite officially opening its third brewery in the country.

The new brewery is located in the city of Ulyanovsk with an initial annual capacity of 3m hectolitres. It cost RUB7.2bn (US$216m) to build.

Despite this expansion, a local SABMiller spokesperson said the firm expects a third consecutive decline in annual volume sales in Russia this year. Record-breaking summer temperatures have not fully offset lower demand caused by January’s 200% hike in beer duty.

“By the end of 2010, they are expected to decline by several percent," the spokesperson told just-drinks. The brewer had originally predicted a fall of between 10 and 15%. "However, weather conditions and increasing employment have improved expectations”, said the spokesperson.

SABMiller's beer volumes fell by 1% in Russia during the first half of the brewer's fiscal year, the six months to the end of September. Sales rose in the second quarter.