Indian Cobra beer to shut production in Poland

May 12th, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by admin  

By Surender Bhutani
Warsaw, May 12 (IANS) Cobra Beer, the lager brand owned by India-born, London-based Karan Bilimoria that had outsourced its production to Poland in 2005, has decided to shift the bulk of its brewing back to Britain. The main reason to go back to Britain is the transportation costs and the strength of the Polish currency, zloty, vis-a vis the British pound. The Polish currency has appreciated to the tune of 35 percent in the last three years and it does not make much economic sense to produce beer in Poland, according to the Cobra Beer management.

The management hopes to save up seven million pounds in the future if its target of brewing one million hectolitres of beer annually in Britain by 2010 is achieved.

Further, it will also bottle and package its beers, originally targeted at customers of Indian restaurants across Britain, through the Quinn Group in Britain.

Cobra, which is also sold in India, has become a popular beer not only in Britain but in Belgium and Poland. The decision to shift production to Britain will harm the Polish economy as many jobs will be cut down in the Brower brewery in Poland as this brewery has been supplying two- thirds of its production to Britain.

With annual sales of 55 million pounds, Cobra is one of the top 10 premium lager producers and it has now a strategy to promote its sales in mainstream pubs and clubs throughout Europe.

“Cobra beer has made its presence felt in the last three years in this country as customers enjoy this beer with Indian Mughlai food,” Davinder Singh, president of the Maharaja restaurants in Poland, told IANS.

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