Poland At the end of February, Heineken issued another statement. An agree ment has been reached in principle with the Supervisory Board and Board of Directors of the Polish brewing company Zywiec, to the effect that Heineken will take a 24.9% stake in the company through a share issue by Zywiec. Zywiec's general meeting of shareholders gave the definite go- ahead. Zywiec has a 7% market share in the Polish beer market and is in parti cular a strong player in the premium segment. Zywiec Full Light is its strongest brand. The company com prises three breweries, which produce 1.1 million hectolitres per year and are located in Zywiec, Bielsko-Biala and Cieszyn, respectively. Zywiec is a city to the southwest of Cracow in Southern Poland. Segmentation On average, the per capita beer consumption in Poland is not high, just 30 litres. Despite a slight drop in beer consumption in 1993 as com pared to 1992, Heineken is optimistic about the future of Poland's brewing industry. In Poland, the transition to a market economy is taking definite shape, and the spending power of the population is on the increase. Moreover, Poland has proven that it can adapt to the principles of the mar ket economy better and faster than other countries. It is expected that the beer market will grow in coming years. As a dominant player in the premium segment, Zywiec can take full advantage of this development. The brewing group therefore intends to increase its production capacity sharply and carry out a modernisation programme. Possibilities for Zywiec's involvement in other Heineken activities are still being studied. Alle Ypma, Business Development Director of Heineken, is delighted about the cooperation with Zywiec. 'We believe that Zywiec will be able to develop a commanding position in the Polish beer market in association with Heineken. In Poland, the Zywiec brands are already renowned for their consistent quality and will continue to form Zywiec's core business.' As early as 1970, Heineken was active in Poland, exporting beer brewed in the Netherlands. The import segment is still very small. THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1994 | | pagina 27