Carlsberg ups target as key markets rise

CARLSBERG yesterday lifted its target for profits growth after reporting a 30 per cent rise in second-quarter profits and winning a bigger proportion of some of its main markets.

The group said it expected net profits to surge an estimated 40 per cent this year – double
the 20 per cent previously forecast.

Carlsberg, which acquired Scottish & Newcastle in partnership with Heineken in 2008, said currency movements and market growth in Asia drove the upgrade.

There was also growth in the UK where its market share in the first six months rose to 16.2 per cent, with improvement seen in both pubs and off-licences.

Overall half-year operating profits rose by 12 per cent to 5bn Danish kronor (£550m). And pre-tax profits rose to 3.95bn kronor from 3.025bn kronor in the same period a year ago.

Chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said: “The group’s performance was strong for the first six months in spite of challenging consumer dynamics.”

The improved outlook was helped by a recovery in demand in Russia – one of the firm’s key markets.

The company said beer volumes fell in the first half due to significant price increases in Russia as a result of higher taxes.

However, the drop was smaller than expected, Carlsberg said.