Plzeňský Prazdroj raising beer prices

Higher prices for cans are in part responsible for the increase

Czech brewer Plzeňský Prazdroj will increase the prices of all of its brands of bottled and canned beer by an average of 3.1 percent as of Oct.1. The brands affected include Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast and Velkopopovický Kozel.

The wholesale price of beer in barrels and tanks to pubs is not affected. Plzeňský Prazdroj spokeswoman Jitka Němečková confirmed the information to the media.

Plzeňský Prazdroj has a large share on the Czech market, and other brewers are likely to follow its lead, if past price hikes are any indication.

The price increase is due to increased costs in production, packaging and distribution, according to media reports. The price of aluminum has gone up, for example, and cans have been increasing in popularity. Sales of canned beer in June from all brands was up 73 percent in June compared to a year ago, according to figures from the Czech Union of Breweries and Malt Houses (ČSPAS).

Nemečková in June told Czech Radio that 14.3 percent, or one-seventh, of beers sold by Pilsner Urquell is now in a can, and that the company has opened another factory line for cans.

Pubs and restaurants will not be affected by the increase because many have been affected by the EET laws for electronic registry of sales and also by the new no-smoking laws, Němečková said.

This is not the first recent price hike. Prazdroj raised prices last October by 3.2 percent.

Plzeňský Prazdroj in 2016 sold nearly 11 million hectoliters of beer in the Czech Republic and abroad, an increase of just under million hectoliters more than in 2015. Pilsner Urquell exports grew by 10 percent year-on-year to 970 thousand hectoliters, according to company figures.

Plzeňský Prazdroj was founded in 1842, and is based in Plzeň, West Bohemia. It is currently owned by Asahi Group Holdings Ltd of Japan. It was sold by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV along with other recently acquired former SABMiller brands in Central and Eastern Europe.

Plzeňský Prazdroj had been owned by South African Breweries and its successor SABMiller since 1999. Before that, it had been controlled by Japanese investment bank Nomura.

The Czech Republic has the largest per-capita consumption of beer in the world, at about 142.4 liters each per year. Tourism helps to boost the figures.

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