By James Atkinson

Coopers will soon ramp up the marketing activity behind its new international beer brands, Carlsberg and Kronenbourg, having this week announced a $20 million capital expansion program to accommodate its continued sales growth.

Coopers chairman Glenn Cooper told TheShout that the brewer could not start marketing the brands until their transition from Foster's had been fully completed.

"We took a lot of Carlsberg product from Foster's as part of the transition, so we couldn't start our marketing program while the product was still showing on the label, 'Made by Foster's'," he said.

"The first batch of the Carlsberg brand from Coopers was done in November."

Cooper said marketing activity behind the international brands will get underway early this year.

The $20 million capital expansion program announced this week includes doubling the size of the brewery's existing lager cellar, the installation of a second bottling line and two additional fermenters.

Coopers managing director, Dr Tim Cooper, said the expansion followed continued growth in beer sales and a strong profit performance in the 2011-12 financial year.

In the 12 months to June 30, 2012, Coopers' turnover rose 7.6 per cent to a record $186.3 million, while after tax profit reached a record $27.2 million, up 18 per cent on the $23 million in 2010-2011.

In calendar year 2012, Coopers sales grew by 9.7 per cent to 68.8 million litres, compared to 62.7 million litres in calendar year 2011.

This was boosted by record sales in the last six months of 2012.

"In the six months to December 31, 2012, beer sales jumped by 13.6 per cent on the same period in 2011," Dr Cooper said.

"Our international brands, Sapporo, Carlsberg and Kronenbourg 1664 accounted for nearly half of this increase."

"The results for our anniversary year were very gratifying, especially given the current economic situation where national beer sales overall have continued to fall for a third consecutive year."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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