PRAGUE (AP) — Budvar, the Czech brewer that has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. company Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, has registered a record output for the second straight pandemic year.
Budejovicky Budvar NP, a 126-year-old state-owned brewery, said its output rose 4.6% to 1.8 million hectoliters (47.8 million gallons) in 2021, according to preliminary results released on Thursday.
The brewer’s exports were up 11.3% last year, director Petr Dvorak said. The figures “surpassed our expectations,” Dvorak said.
Budvar sells its beer in some 80 countries. It said in a statement that practically all its major markets, including Germany, Britain and Slovakia, contributed to increased sales.
Revenues also hit a record last year, growing 10.4% to reach 3.171 billion Czech crowns ($149 million) in 2021.
Complete results, including profit figures, will be released later in the year.
The pandemic particularly affected the domestic market with demand for beer in tanks and barrels declining as bars and restaurants were closed for some time and access for unvaccinated people was limited.
“We have a very difficult year in all aspects behind us,” Dvorak said.
The brewer has expanded in recent years to be able to produce more than 2 million hectoliters (52.8 million gallons) of beer a year. That investment made it possible to react to changes in the markets amid the coronavirus pandemic.