"It was a good year for us, we have slightly increased the volume in Austria and we have seen a large increase in exports," says Magne Setnes, CEO of Brau Union Österreich, looking at 2018. The largest beer group in Austria was able to reverse sales last year to increase three percent up to 755 million euros. Profit after tax fell from 89 to 81 million euros. It was paid as a dividend to the parent company Heineken.
A relationship with Heineken will help Brau Union Österreich in exporting, says Setnes. Gösser beer is one of the most important products on foreign markets. It is sold mainly in Germany. In the case of non-alcoholic beers, Brau in the Heineken Group provided some kind of development assistance: "We have developed technology and we support our sisters from the group." It is similar in a small tap for gastronomy. The technology for filling eight-liter barrels has also been developed in Austria. "We are one of the innovation leaders in the Group and we are very proud of it," said Setnes.
The development, which appeared already in 2018, is ongoing this year: rising prices of goods. The cost of materials increased by almost six percent last year. The increase in malting barley prices made a significant contribution. Brau Union has already raised beer prices by three percent in December 2018.
"We're in the process of calculating costs for 2020," says Setnes. The spring barley harvest was good this year, but the land was scarce. It will increasingly switch to winter barley, but will bring lower yields. "But it better suits the climate of Austria."
The Brau Association based in Linz employs 2,500 people. Eight breweries produce brands such as Zipfer, Gösser and Puntigamer. (SD)
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