Cees 't Hart, CEO and president of Carlsberg
The CEO of Carlsberg, Cees ‘t Hart, has insisted that the company is still ‘hunting’ for a larger stake in Vietnam’s state-owned Habeco brewery.
The Danish brewer wants to increase its holding from 17% to at least a majority stake, with a view to taking over the whole operation, as the Vietnamese government presses ahead with plans to privatise at least three state-run companies. Sabeco – a second state-owned brewery, based in Ho Chi Minh City – has attracted the attention of San Miguel in recent months.
‘T Hart told investors that Carlsberg was ‘still waiting for the reaction of the government’ with regards to a deal.
“The process is, if you like, hot. As you know, they want to privatise three companies this year. It still seems that they’ll go first for Habeco, but that from time to time changes as well, first Sabeco or first Habeco. Over the last six weeks, I’ve been three times to Vietnam. So, probably that makes a point. But frankly, we do not know the new timing. It’s pretty complicated, cumbersome, but as you can hear, we are hunting to get it, but we can’t put a new timing on that one at this moment in time.”
He added that, while the process was taking a lot of time, it was no better or worse than the company had anticipated.
‘T Hart also addressed the company’s marked change in the Chinese market: decline slowed, as the business realised less of an impact from brewery closures and good growth in the premium segment.
“With regard to the Chinese volume – yes… the total market declined, as you know, last year [by] 4% to 5%. It’s now minus 1%, minus 2%. We are holding share in that segment. So, the decline of the total market is less. But here again premiumisation is the golden word for us.”
The comments come after Carlsberg posted first-quarter revenue of DKK 13.7 billion ($2.02 billion), helped by 8% growth in Carlsberg and 25% in Grimbergen beer.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial