Carlsberg has issued a profit warning for 2020 as it forecasts disappointing sales in the second half of the year.
The Danish brewer saw a fall of 8.9 per cent in operating profits for the first half of 2020 and is expecting an overall drop of between 10 and 15 per cent for the whole year.
It is significantly worse than expectations and the company has cited renewed lockdowns in China – one of its biggest markets – during the third quarter as a key reason, as well as an increase in marketing expenditure.
Carlsberg has also revealed it will suspend the second half of its share buyback programme due to Covid-19 and the uncertainty ahead.
Chief executive Cees’t Hart said all the brewer’s markets had been hit by the pandemic.
“Recognising that we’re faced with a new market reality, including changed consumer preferences and a reduced level of on-trade activity, we’re taking measures to adapt our business accordingly,” he said.
Carlsberg’s share price slid by 4.7 per cent following the warning.