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Pivovarna Lasko Reduced Loss to EUR 25.8M in 2010

Lasko, 01 April (STA) - The debt-ridden beverage group Pivovarna Lasko made a net loss of EUR 25.8m in 2010, down from EUR 162m in 2009. The group's operating loss in 2010 was EUR 9.9m (EUR 5.2m in 2009), mostly due to weakening of brands.

Net sales revenues reached EUR 306.4m in 2010, which is 6.3% less than a year before, the company wrote on the website of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange on Friday.

In 2010, the group sold a total of 4.226m hectolitres of beverages. The 7.2% slump over a year earlier is attributed to increasing competition on the market and the economic crisis reducing the demand for beverages, especially bottled water.

The group expects 8.2% higher sales (4.57 hectolitres) in 2011, mainly due to a planned increase in sales on foreign markets.

Pivovarna Lasko's excessive debt (standing at EUR 397.5m at the end of 2010) is endangering the group's liquidity and forcing the company to sell a number of its major investments, including retailer Mercator and newspaper publishers Delo and Vecer.

However, even a successful sell-off of the investments will not salvage the parent company's debts, some of the dependent companies may end up with a surplus of liquidity funds and could improve the situation in the parent company by issuing dividends, the press release reads.

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