Carlsberg toasts a swing back to Russian growth as profit jumps

DANISH brewer Carlsberg yesterday said a recovery in east European demand helped drive a 38 per cent rise in first-quarter profits, endorsing its emerging market focus and sending its shares to a near-record high.

The brewer met forecasts yesterday as its biggest market returned to growth and said it expected Russian beer volume to grow between two and four per cent this year.

“We see that the Russian economy and the Russian consumer is doing better and better, and that is positive for our business,” chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said.

“From mid-2010 we started to see an improvement in the Russian economy. The Russian consumer is doing better and is more ready to spend again,” Rasmussen added.

Carlsberg’s B shares gained 2.6 per cent yesterday to close at 608 Danish crowns.