Carlsberg falls flat as profits miss expectations and it struggles in Western European beer market

 
Francesca Washtell
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Carlsberg is struggling in the UK and Western Europe (Source: Carlsberg)

Danish brewer Carlsberg fell flat today after its second quarter results missed analyst estimates and the group struggled to stay afloat in the UK and Western Europe.

The figures

Revenues grew by four per cent to 31.2bn Danish krone (£364m), though this was short of estimates of 31.4bn krone, in the six months to 30 June.

Net profit jumped 25 per cent to 1.87bn krone, however earnings before interest, tax and special items fell to 3.45bn krone, below expectations of 3.48bn.

The group's "value management initiatives" drove overall volumes down one per cent year-on-year.

Carlsberg said it had a stable market share in Asia and improved in Eastern Europe, but declined in Western Europe.

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Shares on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange were down 5.7 per cent to 640.5 krone in early afternoon trading.

Why it's interesting

Carlsberg smashed analyst expectations after strong growth in Asia lifted its full-year results in February and the company is targeting growth in China, Vietnam and India as part of its SAIL 2022 strategy, which it outlined in March.

It is also targeting the burgeoning craft beer market as part of its strategy, which chief executive Cees 't Hart said today was already delivering benefits.

Carlsberg is also planning a major cost-cutting drive, aiming to save up to two billion krone by the end of next year.

Read more: Hipster fightback: Craft beer sales have started to slow in the US

The brewer has been hit hard by declines in Russia, its biggest market, where it owns Baltika beer.

Brewers worldwide are having a tougher time than usual, as beer consumption declined by 0.6 per cent in 2015, following a levelling-off in volumes in 2014, according to IWSR.

What Carlsberg said

Chief executive Cees 't Hart said:

The Carlsberg Group delivered a good set of results in line with our expectations. Most notably, we achieved a solid top-line and profit development as well as a strong improvement in cash flow.

With the satisfactory execution of our plans so far, we maintain our full-year outlook for organic growth in operating profit.

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