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Frucor Beverages Expands Into Irish Market

Leading designer beverage company, Frucor Beverages Group Limited, today announced it has launched Australasia's number one energy drink V into the rapidly growing Republic of Ireland market.

Frucor Beverages managing director Mark Cowsill said the launch is a significant development for V following launches in Australia, South Africa and the NZ$1 billion UK market over the past 17 months.

Ireland provides Frucor with a strong opportunity to achieve further sales growth due to its generally buoyant economy and rapidly growing energy drinks market. An independent report by Europe's leading drinks consultancy, Zenith International, shows the market (excluding bars and clubs) doubled in size in 1999.

Consumer research has been undertaken and indicates V will experience a similar level of positive consumer uptake as has been experienced in other markets. The Irish launch will be supported with television, cinema and other advertising.

Mr Cowsill says the Irish market is estimated to be worth NZ$119m at total retail (including bars and clubs) and presents a similar opportunity to capture the 'day-time' energy drinks sector where V has been successfully positioned in other markets.

"We will be targeting convenience and route trade stores, petrol stations and grocery and, if the UK experience is anything to go by, V will be everywhere, very quickly."

Frucor's UK distributor, Petty Wood & Co, is the company's partner in Ireland ensuring a seamless launch and an impressive range of distribution outlets.

As part of the Irish launch and Frucor's European expansion plans, Frucor's former general manager sales, Ray Nicholls, has been appointed General Manager, UK and Europe.

Mr Nicholls will be responsible for driving the UK and Ireland business as well as identifying opportunities and establishing rollout plans in other European markets. Mr Nicholls is already in the UK managing the Irish launch and officially takes up his position in September.

V has enjoyed strong growth since its initial launch in New Zealand in August 1997. It now holds over 60 percent market share of the energy drinks category in New Zealand and in Australia.

V was launched in Australia in February 1999 and in South Africa in October 1999.

The product was launched into the UK market in May this year where already it has secured listings with more than 40 leading retailers, wholesalers and forecourt operators including petrol giants BP, Shell and Total-Fina and leading grocery chains Sainsbury, Tescos, Waitrose and Safeways.

V is an energy drink and dietary supplement containing Guarana and the B Group of Vitamins B2 B6 and B12, vital for overall good health. About Frucor Beverages

Frucor Beverages is a world-class designer beverage company. The company is the market leader in energy drinks in New Zealand and Australia, the market leader in the New Zealand juice and drinks category and is the second largest cold beverage company in New Zealand producing around 60 million litres per annum. Frucor Beverages has an annual turnover approaching NZ$184 million.

Frucor is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZSE: FRU) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: FRU).

With 25 projects under development, innovation in growth markets is a key element of the company's strategy to strengthen its leadership position in established markets and expand globally.

Within 12 months of being launched in Australia V has captured over 60 percent of the market share in the burgeoning energy drinks' category which increased threefold since the August quarter of 1999 and is currently valued at (Aus)$80 million. V was also launched in South Africa in October 1999 and into the NZ$1 billion UK energy drinks' market in May 2000.

The company's diverse and powerful portfolio of brands in New Zealand is concentrated on premium, high growth beverage categories. Products include leading energy drink V which has over 60 percent of the market share in New Zealand, fruit juices Fresh- Up and Just Juice ? market leaders and New Zealand icons for more than 15 years ? and popular brands such as McCoy, Citrus Tree, NZ Natural, H2GO and Kokomo.

Since November last year Frucor Beverages has also manufactured and distributed major brands in the carbonated soft drinks market (the largest category in the New Zealand cold beverages' market), including the Pepsi range, 7Up, Mountain Dew and Mirinda. Frucor Beverages now has around 10 percent of this market.


For further information: Simon Pillar, Chairman, Frucor Beverages Group Limited Tel: 00612 9229 1600 Mob: 0061 412 404 627 Or Mark Cowsill, Managing Director, Frucor Beverages Group Limited Tel: +64 9 250 0121 Mob: +64 21 742 421

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