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Thursday, May 11, 2006

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UB plans new drinks, packaging

K. Giriprakash

Bangalore , May 10

United Breweries is looking to introduce new drinks and packaging to rope in more consumers.

"We are looking at introducing new liquids, something which appeals to even women," the United Breweries Chief Financial Officer, Ms Lesley Jackson, told Business Line. UB is looking at brews such as low carbonated beer and liquids that appeal to a wider cross section of customers.

United Breweries is also planning to introduce newer packaging — different types of bottles — to catch the attention of more people.

The beer company is in the process of rationalising its brand portfolio. It is looking at pulling out a few brands from certain markets and strengthening the presence of a few others. Brands like Zingaro were strategically withdrawn from a few markets while its marketing was increased in a few others.

UB's sales in the mild beer segment has grown 13 per cent compared with the industry average of 9.4 per cent. The strong beer segment has grown 36 per cent while the rest of the industry grew 16 per cent. Kingfisher Strong sold over 17 million cases during 2005-06 while Kingfisher Lager sold over 20 million cases.

During 2005-06, United Breweries' net profit rose nearly 245 per cent to Rs 48.39 crore on a total income of Rs 595.58 crore which grew 31.21 per cent.

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