InBev UK, the Stella Artois, Budweiser and Becks brewer, has announced it will increase the wholesale prices of its brands by 7.8% from 2 January 2012. The figure is duty exclusive. Stuart MacFarlane, president of InBev UK, said: “Challenging increases in our costs, notably raw materials and energy, mean that we now have no choice but to pass on some of these costs in price increases. “In the past we have worked to absorb cost increases through efficiencies, but with significant commodity price increases, this approach is no longer sustainable. “The pressures the industry is facing are exacerbated by the Government’s recent record duty increases, and we will continue to make the case for the abolition of the beer duty escalator. “This is the smallest increase we are able to deliver and maintain our business on a sustainable footing. We will of course continue to focus on driving cost and efficiencies in an effort to minimise impact.” At the start of the year the brewer announced it would add 5p to pints of Stella Artois, 7p to pints of Becks Vier, and 1p to Stella Artois 4 from 1 February 2011. Earlier this month M&C Report revealed that the company plans to close its independent free trade business in order to “remain competitive in a difficult market”.

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