Baltic Beverages Holding AB (BBH), the joint-venture company between Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg, has recorded strong sales growth for its full year in 2004.

The rise in sales from E1.16bn to E1.38bn for the full-year was fulled by a 67% gain in its new Kazakhstan market and strong sales in Russia. Pre-tax profit increased from E352m to E388m.

Kazakhstan is the newest and fastest growing of BBH’s markets and BBH has an official market share of 23% (but with unofficial imports this totals 27%), making it the market leader after just one year of operations.

Scottish & Newcastle announced that BBH total volumes were up 18% with a 19% volume growth in Russia and 17% in the Ukraine.

“BBH’s results demonstrate the strength of our brands and business model, particularly in Russia where the second half performance was very strong, with domestic beer volumes growing by 22%,” said Christian Ramm-Schmidt, BBH’s managing director.

“Profits for the period were affected by increased investments in sales and market activities, but depite this EBITDA increased by 10% to E388m. BBH generates strong cash flows which will enable it to continue investing in its key markets as well as beginning to provide payments to its shareholders.”