Danish brewery Carlsberg sees Asia as a key driver of growth for the brewery in the medium to long term, said president and chief executive officer Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen to the Malaysian online-newspaper The Star.
“Key markets for us in Asia comprise China, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore, among others. There are many markets in the region with potential for future growth in terms of consumption per capita, for example Vietnam’s population increase,” he said.
Rasmussen said although Malaysia was not a big market for Carlsberg, it still played a key role in the group.
“Malaysia does not contribute much to group profitability but Carlsberg is a significant brand in this market with a high market share and strong brand position. Whenever we sit back in Copenhagen and talk about our different markets, Malaysia is almost always on the agenda,” he said.
Jorgen Byhi Rasmussen – We aim to start taking market share again
Top on the list for the Malaysian operations is to grow its market share and improve earnings.
“We have reversed the negative trend in 2007 after the restructuring, stabilised the business last year and are now on a stronger platform to grow the business. We aim to start taking market share again,” Rasmussen said.
Carlsberg’s Malaysian operation, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, has a 44% share of the malt liquor market in the country (second largest after competitor Guinness Anchor Bhd).
Beer volume in the Asian region increased by 16% to 11.5 million hectolitres in 2008 versus 2007 and contributed about 10% to total group beer volume last year.