Carlsberg profits rise 10%
Danish brewer Carlsberg reported a 10 per cent rise in quarterly operating profit and said it stood by its full-year outlook after gaining market share in Russia.
"It is particularly positive to report that we are back on a growth trend in Russia," chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said today.
The world's fourth-largest brewer said its market share in the competitive Russian market, where its brands include market leader Baltika, rose to 38.9 per cent in the third quarter from 37.9 per cent in the April-June period.
Eastern Europe and Asian sales cushioned continued sluggish sales in western Europe where sales contributed 55 per cent of total group revenue while eastern Europe made up 32 per cent.
"The positive is that they grew in Russia in the third quarter," Alm Brand analyst Stig Nymann said.
The group's operating profit rose to 3.60 billion Danish crowns (€483 million), compared with a forecast for 3.72 billion crowns in a Reuters poll. Sales grew to 18.8 billion crowns against a forecast 18.6 billion.
Like other brewers, Carlsberg has been relying on emerging markets and price rises to offset sluggish European growth and tough competition in mature markets. Its position in Russia has been hurt by government tax measures and legislation designed to curb alcohol abuse over the past few years.
Carlsberg kept its 2012 outlook for operating profit before special items to be at the same level as in 2011 when it reached 9.82 billion crowns.