Danish brewer Carlsberg said today that it expects to suffer a smaller drop in profit than previously forecast after trade in China bounced back after the coronavirus lockdown.
The firm said it expects a nine per cent drop in operating profit in the second quarter compared to analyst forecasts of a 26 per cent decline.
Carlsberg, which is the world’s third largest brewer after Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken, said second quarter sales fell 15 per cent with volumes down eight per cent.
However profit in China, the firm’s biggest market, “rebounded strongly” in the second quarter.
Carlsberg said that trading in Western Europe was difficult at the beginning of the quarter but reported “improved performance” towards the end as bars and restaurants reopened amid warm weather in June.
“Although government lockdowns are gradually being lifted, the sales development across our regions in the coming months continues to be volatile and uncertain, not least during the important summer months,” Carlsberg said.
The brewery giant kept its full-year guidance suspended.
“Carlsberg is navigating the crisis well,” Jefferies analysts said, according to Reuters.
“Beyond 2020 and the easy comparison in 2021, which should be a summer of sport, Carlsberg remains an attractive investment proposition.”