The net profits of the Baltika brewery declined 13 percent to $13.6m in the first quarter of 2003 against the corresponding period of 2002, the press service of the company reported. It pointed out that net profits had been influenced by fluctuations in the exchange rates of major currencies and operations for attracting credits.
Baltika's net sales went down 10.5 percent to $130m; its operating profits dropped 44 percent to $18.2m. The major reason for a decrease in Q1 2003 sales against Q1 2002 sales was the reorganizing of the sales and distribution system, which was currently underway, the company said. The goal of the reorganization is the implementation of an absolutely new approach to sales, which envisages a geographic division of the market, the creation of a better control system over product flows and prices, and the achievement of closer contact with customers.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.