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Dreher beer brewer plans Ft 3 bln in 2008 investments

SABMiller-owned Hungarian Dreher Breweries plans to make Ft 3 billion (€12.2 million) in investments this year, the business daily Világgazdaság reported.

Dreher President-CEO Hector Gorosabel told Világgazdaság that the 2008 investments will be used primarily to improve logistics, though significant sums have also been earmarked for updating the company's IT system and introduce new packaging.

Gorosabel said that the company's investments over recent year's, including a large-scale investment in 2007 to expand the brewery's production capacity and efficiency, have been necessary to counteract a dramatic rise the cost of energy and basic beer ingredients.

Gorosabel added that, in addition to increasing production efficiency, the price of beer should be raised on the Hungarian market in order for the industry to remain profitable.

The Dreher president-CEO told Világgazdaság that a significant rise in excise taxes in 2005 and 2006 also represented a major blow to the profitability of Hungary's beer market.

Gorosabel said that consumption of Dreher products increased by 4% in the company's business year ended in March, in excess of the market, while the company's profitability increased by approximately 15% during the year.

Central budget expenditures were Ft 49 billion over the target in April, mainly because of bigger-than-expected spending on family subsidies and budget-funded institutions. The ministry noted that, because of a four-day May Day holiday, April wages were paid early. April spending of budget-funded institutions was Ft 332.2 billion, over the Ft 310 billion forecast. (MTI – Econews)