As a result of a 20 percent capacity increase and the installation of a new keg filling line last year, Carlsberg has been able to improve its beer market share in Kazakhstan by 3 percent to 41.2 percent and comes now closer to market leader Efes.
For many years both breweries have been competing head-to-head for the market leadership. Until 2010 Carlsberg Kazakhstan was the leading beer producer in Kazakhstan but lost its position when Efes was more effective in licensing Russian and West-European beer brands, which play an important role in Kazakhstan’s beer market.
Today Efes, in which AB InBev holds a 24 percent market share (inside.beer, 30.3.2018), has a production capacity of 2.5 million hl per year, employs 700 people and holds with 15 beer brands about 50% of the beer market in Kazakhstan. In comparison Carlsberg Kazakhstan has a production capacity of 2.2 million hl per year and employs over 400 people. The portfolio has more than 27 beer brands such as Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Holsten, Tuborg, Baltika, Zatecky Gus, Derbes, Irbis and Alma-Ata which hold strong leading positions in their segments of the market.
With its population of slightly more than 18 million, Kazakhstan is one of the fastest-growing economies among CIS countries. The beer market has experienced 100% growth since 1999 and it offers strong growth and profit potential.
CEO Victor Semak told the press that his company also implemented over the past years TPM lean production projects, which consistently reduced the carbon footprint and water losses. "Thus, since 2012, the company has managed to reduce its specific consumption of water by 51 percent, of thermal energy by 55.8 percent, and of electricity by 42.9 percent," Semak said.
In 2003 Carlsberg entered the beer market of Kazakhstan after becoming majority shareholder in the local Irbis brewery (through the JV BBH). Later in 2003 Carlsberg acquired the local brewery Ak-Nar brewery which produced the popular local Derbes beer. Later that same year these two breweries were merged into one on the production site of Ak-Nar Brewery. By 2006, the Ak-Nar Brewery was renamed into the Derbes Brewery.
In 2019 the head-to-head race between Carlsberg and Efes is most likely to continue. "Our plans for 2019 are to maintain and improve the achieved results, develop in the promising direction of craft beer and specialty production, as well as increase our presence in the segment of non-alcoholic beers," Semak concluded.