Carlsberg is Upgrading Again

Three months after the latest upgrading, Carlsberg now upgrades its expectations for 2010 again in connection with the release of its 3rd-quarter results.

The very important Russian business improved during a warm summer which increased the beer consumption and this reduced the effect of the big duty increases since the turn of the year.

Carlsberg now expects an operating profit for 2010 of more than DKK 10 billion compared to previous expectations of operating profit at around DKK 10 billion, i.e. a small upgrading.

Several analysts had expected that Carlsberg would raise its expectations, but Carlsberg’s traditionally cautious attitude created some uncertainty about the upgrading. A SME Direkt survey showed an average expectation of an operating profit of DKK 10.6 billion.

The operating profit for the first nine months of the year shows an improvement of 18 per cent to DKK 9.1 billion. Revenue rose 2 per cent to DKK 46.7 billion, while net profit was just above DKK 5 billion.

Carlsberg is still aiming at a net profit growth of 40 per cent compared to the 2009 result of DKK 3.6 billion. Profit margin was improved by 270 basis points to 19.6 per cent.

CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen notes that Carlsberg entered the year with clear plans of improving the market positions through increased focus on the top-line while at the same time executing the efficiency agenda. And the Group is on track to deliver on these plans for 2010.

»We are moving towards our medium-term margin target and reducing the profitability gap to other fast-moving-consumer-goods companies,« he said.

He also notes that he sees signs of market recovery in the important Eastern Europe region, while market conditions remain challenging in several Northern and Western European markets.

Increasing input costs mean that Carlsberg is forced to raise its sales prices in Northern and Western Europe. The region showed higher beer sales than expected and increasing market shares in the 3rd quarter.

Eastern Europe and Russia showed an improvement of the market trends in all markets. Carlsberg wrote in the financial report that all markets grew in the third quarter driven by improving macroeconomics, improved consumer sentiment and warm weather.

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