Carlsberg profits gain 6%
Forty four per cent of brewer?s annual earnings came from Eastern Europe.
Carlsberg forecast a slight increase in operating profit this year after it maintained its share of the market in Russia, where it is the biggest brewer.
Annual earnings before interest, tax and some one-time items will be about 10 billion kroner (€1.34 billion), the Copenhagen-based company said in a statement today. It reported profit on the same basis of 9.8 billion kroner for 2012.
The company will book about 300 million kroner to 400 million kroner in costs to standardize its supply chain in Western Europe this year to help improve medium term profitability.
Fourth-quarter earnings advanced to 2.15 billion kroner from 1.83 billion kroner in the same period a year earlier, the company said.
Carlsberg made its target for annual profit on the same basis to match that of 2011. The company generated 44 per cent of its annual earnings from its Eastern Europe unit, primarily Russia, where the government has raised taxes and increased regulation on alcohol sales.
It maintained a "flat" market share compared with last year, with fourth-quarter share of 38.3 per cent.
Russia banned selling beer at kiosks January 1, and the government imposed restrictions on direct advertising of the alcohol last year. The company had reported its market share in Russia was 38.9 per cent in the third quarter.
Sales in the fourth quarter totalled 15.9 billion kroner, compared with the 15.6 billion-kroner estimate.