Carlsberg has reported organic revenue growth of 3.2% in its full year results driven by strong performance in Asia and its craft beer brands as well as continuing to capitalise on its no- and low- alcohol portfolio.
The Danish brewer – which owns brands such as – Tuborg, Kronenbourg 1664 and Somersby – recorded a net revenue of DKK 65.9 billion ($9.75 billion) for the full year, continuing to rise its sales after a successful 2018.
Meanwhile, its operating profit grew organically by 10.5% to DKK 10.46 billion ($1.55 billion).
Carlsberg’s core beer category reported a rise of 3% in both organic revenue and profit. Meanwhile, volumes declined by 1% due to tough comparable in Western Europe and difficult market conditions in Eastern Europe.
The company’s craft and specialty portfolio delivered volume growth of 16% with 1664 Blanc volumes performing strongly at a growth rate of 29%, especially in China, Malaysia, Denmark, Russia and Ukraine.
Volumes of its alcohol-free brews grew by 7% with good performance in Western Europe, Poland, Finland and Sweden. While volumes for its global cider brand, Somersby, were up 14%, with particularly strong growth in Ukraine, Croatia, Germany and Australia.
Carlberg’s Asia business delivered organic revenue growth of 12.3% and organic operating profit of 23.4% mainly driven by strong performance in China, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia, especially through its local power brands. However, organic revenue growth in its last quarter was softer than its preceding three quarters at 4.6%.
In China, Carlsberg’s premium portfolio continued to benefit from the ongoing premiumisation trend with its 1664 Blanc volumes growing by almost 50%.
Carlsberg’s non-beer business in Laos and Cambodia performed particularly well with organic volume growth of 10.3%
“We saw healthy top-line growth, strong margin improvement and strong cash flow,” said Carlsberg CEO Cees ’t Hart.
For 2020, the brewer expects mid-single-digit percentage organic growth in operating profit and will initiate a share buy-back programme worth DDK5 billion in the next 12 months.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019