South African Breweries PLC
3 April 2002
SAB REORGANISES ITS OPERATIONS IN ROMANIA
London and Johannesburg, 3 April 2002. South African Breweries (SAB) has
announced a restructuring of its operations in Romania, as part of an on-going
programme to improve its operating and financial performance in the country.
SAB's two Romanian companies, SC Ursus SA and SC Bere Timisoreana SA (acquired
by SAB in August 2001) are to merge into a single beer company. The new
company, to be called Compania de Bere Romania (CBR), once the normal Romanian
company processing requirements are completed, will have its headquarters in
Cluj-Napoca, branches in Timisoara, Pitesti, Buzau, Afumati and an office in
The main brands to be produced by CBR are Ursus Premium, Timisoreana Lux, Ursus
Pils, Timisoreana Classic and Keller Lager. The current distribution networks
of SC Ursus SA and SC Bere Timisoreana have already been unified into a new
national network of distributors with this strong portfolio of brands.
Beer production and packaging at Pitesti brewery will cease from the end of May,
although a company branch and maltings will continue to operate in Pitesti, and
sales operations in the area will be unaffected. Production at SAB's three
other breweries in Romania at Timisoreana, Cluj-Napoca, and Buzau will be
unaffected by the reorganisation.
Altogether, 190 staff will be affected. SAB Romanian management is in
consultation with the local union body over the closure of brewing operations in
Pitesti and the effects of the restructuring within the company generally.
Wherever possible, the company will seek alternative posts within the company
for employees. Where that is not possible it will provide severance packages in
line with employees' contracts and offer professional outplacement support.
Steve Woodward, SAB's country managing director in Romania said: 'The new
structure will help to reduce costs and increase the overall performance of the
new company. Though regrettable, the closure of Pitesti Brewery is a necessary
step to ensure that we maintain a leading position in a very competitive
national market place and continue to focus on growing and developing our market
'SAB remains committed to the Romanian market. The beer industry has been very
turbulent in recent times. According to the Association of Romanian Beer
Producers (APBR), the market has declined by eight percent in the last 12 months
and predicted future trends indicate slower recovery than desired, particularly
in a climate where the excise advantage for other forms of alcohol over beer is
so significantly contrary to European norms. This has caused us to make some
very difficult decisions but we believe that the reorganisation we have
announced today is in the best interests of the business in the long term.'
Notes to editors
1. South African Breweries plc (SAB) is the world's leading brewer in
developing markets. Listed in London, SAB has interests in Africa, Central and
Eastern Europe, Central America and Asia, and is the world's third largest
brewer overall by volume with 108 breweries in 24 countries and over 31,000
2. In the year to 31 March 2001, SAB generated US$646 million pre-tax profit
from a turnover of US$4.184 billion. SAB is listed on both the London and
the Johannesburg stock exchanges.
3. SAB has been operating in Romania since 1996 and currently runs four
breweries with a total capacity of 2.6 million hectolitres, employing around
1,400 people. SAB's existing operations are located in Timisoreana, Cluj-Napoca,
Pitesti and Buzau.
For more information please contact:
Head of Corporate Communications,
South African Breweries: +44 20 7659 0120
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange