UB to sell locally produced Heineken beer in India

"Probably, we will start selling (locally brewed) Heineken by next financial year," United Breweries Limited (UBL) Senior Vice-President (Marketing) Samar S Sheikhawat told reporters here.

He, however, did not share details on plans to brew 'Heineken' beer in India. At present, 'Heineken' is imported to India from overseas.

After a deal struck in December last year between UB Group and Heineken, the Dutch brewer had agreed to produce and market its world-renowned beer, 'Heineken', only through UBL.

Moreover, 'Heineken' had also agreed to transfer the Indian operations of its Singapore-based subsidiary, Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), which owns the 'Tiger' beer brand, to UBL.

On Tiger beer, Sheikhawat said: "We will relaunch Tiger beer this year. There will be certain changes in the product."UBL, the country's largest beer maker, today also announced the launch of its premium beer -- Kingfisher Ultra -- in the capital.

The company launched the beer in September last year in four cities and had sold around 1 lakh cases till April, 2010.

The company said it will launch the new brand in phases and expects to make a pan-India presence by next fiscal.

United Breweries enjoys a 57 per cent share in the estimated 200 million cases domestic beer market. The company, which sold over 100 million cases of beer in 2009-10, expects a sales growth of 30-35 per cent in the current fiscal.

The company is also looking at rolling out its own retail outlets in the near future. "We are exploring all options to open our exclusive retail outlets," Sheikhawat said.

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