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Hungarian beer industry grows despite increasing costs

Domestic beer sales in Hungary grew by 1.26% in 2012, despite increasing costs and burdens of production, said Dr. Klára Kovács, the president of the Hungarian Beer Association on Wednesday.

Domestic beer sales in Hungary grew by 1.26% in 2012. The decrease in overall consumption left its marks on the beer market as well: sales in premium and middle category fell primarly. That reflects the price sensibility of the Hungarians and the decrease in consumable income. However, sales of low category beers increased. 
"2012 was a hard year for the Hungarian beer industry and producers. Domestic sales altogether grew modestly compared to 2011. Growing expenditures due to base ingridients, producing costs and tax burdens are all weighted on producers," Kovács said.
The three member factories (Borsodi, Dreher, Heineken) and one data provider (Pécsi) covers more than 95% of the Hungarian beer production. Member producers' export decreased by 43%, and import increased by 3.25%, however both quantity is negligable compared to the overall consumption.
The hayday of Hungarian beer consumption was in the eighties with around 100 liter/person/year, to 2012 this number decreased to 63 liter/person/year.
Number of employees in the sector were 1,616 at the end of 2012, 5% less than a year before. However, throught the great number of Hungarian suppliers, beer industry indirectly employs around 25,000 people, Kovács added. Beer producers paid HUF 65 billion tax last year, 55% of which is excise tax.
Talking about the plans of the Association Kovács mentioned the closer cooperation with decision makers, like the Rural Development Ministry or the NAV; the tighter self-regulation of the members in communication and expanding the culture of beer consuption and the idea of responsible drinking.