Plzeňský Prazdroj will increase the cost of beer by an average of three percent from October. Most products will be affected, with an average increase of 46 cents per pint. For the first time in three years, the changes will also affect draft beers.
This information was confirmed on Tuesday by Zdeněk Kovář, spokesman for the most significant Czech brewery. Its price increase in recent years was copied by most of the prominent Czech breweries. The last time Prazdroj increased the price of some packaged beers, especially lagers and premium beers, by an average of 3.6 percent was last October.
The brewery, which produces the Pilsner Urquell, Radegast, Gambrinus, Velkopopovický Kozel, and Birell brands, has struggled heavily with restrictions on pub and restaurant operations during the year-long coronavirus pandemic, where an average of 4 out of 10 beers in its portfolio usually is tapped, and the rest are sold in stores.
Prazdroj made draught beer more expensive for the first time since 2018. For three years, when inflation cumulatively exceeded eight percent (it was 3.2 percent last year), it kept prices at the same level to help the pub and restaurant sector cope with all the changes that affected it, according to Kovář. “These were the consequences of the introduction of regulations such as the EET, the smoking ban, and the effects of the pandemic,” he said.
Decline in sales
Prazdroj’s net profit fell by a fifth to CZK 3.8bn last year. Revenues fell by more than a billion crowns to almost CZK 16 billion. The main reason for the lower results was the long-term closure of pubs due to the pandemic and the associated lower beer sales. The brewer sold almost 11.2 million hectolitres of beer domestically and abroad last year, down 4.2 percent year-on-year.
Sales in the Czech Republic fell eight percent year-on-year to 6.69 million hectolitres, while sales abroad rose one percent year-on-year to 4.52 million hectolitres. Plzeňský Prazdroj is the largest brewing group in the Czech Republic. It has been owned by the Japanese company Asahi Group Holdings since 2017.