Business News

Laško Generates EUR 10.4M in Profit in First Five Months

Laško, 11 July (STA) - The group around brewer Pivovarna Laško generated EUR 10.4m in operating profit in the first five months of 2012, which is 16% more than in the same period last year. Chief supervisor Vladimir Malenković told the STA late on Tuesday that the management was still keen on selling the groups' stake in retailer Mercator.

Pivovarna Laško sold almost 1.4 million hectolitres of beverages in the January-May period, generating EUR 80.2m in sales revenues, a 2% decrease year-on-year, the supervisory board learnt.

Sales revenues increased mostly on foreign markets to top EUR 17m with the sales revenues of the Kosovo brewery Birra Peja included. This is a 22% rise compared to the same period last year.

The group is however still struggling with debts.

Regarding Laško's stake in Mercator, Malenković said that the management was in favour of the renewal of a consortium of sellers of Slovenia's top retailer. Current estimates show that about 55% of the retailer could be put up for sale.

"The supervisors backed the sale, but we also gave some proposals so as to improve the negotiating position of the Pivovarna Laško group," Malenković was quoted as saying after the session by today's issue of the daily Delo.

According to the paper, this means that the process of the possible sale of Mercator is still in an early phase.

After the first attempt to sell Mercator failed, the former Laško management was tasked by the supervisors at the end of March to continue with the activities for the sale of the 23.34% stake in the retailer.

Malenković also said that talks on the sale of publisher Večer were still under way and would not be concluded for another month and a half.

The supervisors moreover discussed the preparations for the next shareholders' meeting, scheduled for 29 August. The main item on the agenda will be a proposal for recapitalisation of Laško in the maximum amount of existing capital, which means EUR 36-37m.

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