Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

KAMENITZA BREWERY'S PROFIT DOWN

The competition on the domestic beer market eats up part of the profits of the biggest breweries in the branch, which is evident from the data about beer consumption in the first quarter of 2002, announced on Tuesday (May 7). The data show that the Greek company Brewinvest, owner of the breweries Zagorka and Ariana, ousts from the top Belgium's Interbrew. This explains the relatively modest financial results for 2001 of Kamenitza AD, incorporating the breweries in Plovdiv, Haskovo, Bourgas, and Pleven, all of them owned by Interbrew. The company's general meeting, held on April 30, reported a drop in the 2001 sales proceeds from BGN112MN to BGN74MN. Therefore, Interbrew's profit decreased by the same rate, going down to BGN7,266,537. However, the Belgian company kept the tradition and decided to distribute that amount in dividend. Thus, shareholders will get BGN1.13 apiece. The owners of the former Plevensko Pivo AD will not get any money, because the brewery merged with Kamenitza in the end of last year and a separate balance sheet was worked out for it.The dividend of BGN1.13 per share seems rather modest as compared to the BGN40-50 apiece, distributed in the past years. But this is so only on the surface, at least for some of the shareholders. The steep drop of the dividend is due to the 11-fold increase of the company's capital, voted half a year ago, when the shareholders received ten new stocks for each one they owned. Thus, a shareholder of 1,000 stocks now has 11,000. Having in mind that the employees in Plovdiv hold 3,000-4,000 shares on average, and some of them own more than 100,000, it is clear that their living standards will again rise steeply in June when the dividends will be paid.

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