Lithuania: Beer market expected to further decline by 7% this year
After a decline of the Lithuanian beer market by nearly 10% last year, tendencies for breweries remain unfortunate, with the market expected to shrink by further 7% in 2018, says Svyturys-Utenos Alus, the leader of the Lithuanian beer market operated by Carlsberg production group, LETA/BNS reported on March 12.
Rolandas Virsilas, CEO at SvyturioUtenos Alus and Carlsberg Baltic, says that the beer market had shrunk considerably over the past few years.
"Slight increase was observed on the market in 2014, however, the tendency is very bad for any producer (...). Last year, the market shrank by around 9.2%, with similar decline reported in Estonia, while the Latvian market remained stable. If we looked at the 2011-2017 period, the market (in Lithuania) lost around a fourth," Virsilas told a press conference on March 12.
According to the company, the Lithuanian beer market was 7.2% smaller year-on-year, posting the lowest monthly sales over the past two decades. Meanwhile, sales of non-alcoholic beer jumped by 66%, however, still account for a minor share of the market.
In Virsilas' words, the shrinking beer market means fewer jobs: "Svyturys-Utenos Alus was forced to make the headcount reduction by 50 people."
According to the company, the beer market is currently strongly shifted by restrictions and the excise policy, which force the population to buy more beer in neighbouring states. The beer market is also affected by emigration, said Virsilas.
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