Carlsberg eyes cider sales

City A.M. Reporter
Danish brewer Carlsberg yesterday said successful launches in Russia of Somersby cider and Eve, a fruit flavoured malt beverage aimed at women, meant it could look to products other than core brands for growth.

Chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen also said the world’s fourth-biggest brewer was to target women in general and northern and western European markets in particular, as it looked to broaden its offering. Carlsberg could also turn to bottled water and soft drinks if that paid off, he said at the company’s annual investor day. “When we look at innovation in the future, we will see products that support beer,” he said.

Head of global sales, marketing and innovation, Khalil Younes, said: “We have launched Somersby in 12 markets, including Russia, with great success.”

Eve, flavoured with fruit juice, has also done well there, Younes said. “Year-to-date we have sold 60 per cent more than our budget. So we have surprised ourselves.”

Among other non-beer products, the group has launched Tuborg Lime Cut in Denmark and Norway.

Rasmussen said he expected east European markets to begin growing again soon after a hard 2009.

The group’s Ukraine chief told Reuters in an interview that the local market – Carlsberg’s second biggest by volume – had turned around after shrinking seven per cent in 2009.

Carlsberg stood by its mid-term target for operating margin in its Northern & Western Europe division to rise to 15-17 per cent in 10 years, finance director Jorn Jensen said.