Alcohol sales on the Estonian-Latvian border are not expected to grow next year, chairman of the board of the Latvijas Balzams distillery Intars Geidans said.
Geidans said that the Estonian government, aware of residents' busy shopping trips to Latvia, changed its decision and raised excise tax on alcohol by just half of what it originally planned, and that this means that next year the prices of alcoholic beverages in Latvia and Estonia would not differ as much as in 2017. In effect, Latvia should consider further raising the excise tax rate in 2019 only carefully.
He added that sales of alcohol in the border area account for 20 percent of the whole market, and that this is a very large share. He also said that it isn't possible to predict what next year will bring in the alcohol sector in relation to the government's indecisiveness and unpredictability in its decisions regarding regulations of the alcohol market.
Latvijas Balzams in the first nine months of this year posted €55.54 million in sales, up 1.7 percent from the respective period last year, while the company's profit declined by 7.9 percent to €4.591 million. Shares in Latvijas Balzams are quoted on the Secondary List of the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange.
Editor: Dario Cavegn