Strong Asia growth improves Carlsberg’s first quarter

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Danish brewer Carlsberg’s first-quarter operating profit and revenue beat forecasts on Tuesday, as strong beer sales in Asia cushioned sluggish mature European markets and a decline in its former growth driver Russia.

Beer sales in Asia accounted for nearly 20 percent of group revenue in the first quarter, approaching Eastern Europe sales which accounted for 22 percent.

The two-digit percentage rise in Asia revenue was helped by strong beer sales in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and India, as well as Carlsberg increase in ownership at the Chongqing Jianiang Brewery joint venture.

“Asia is the new growth driver,” said Nykredit analyst Ricky Rasmussen.

“The company exceeds expectations in all three regions, and they are gaining market share,” Rasmussen said.

Asia has become a battleground for the world’s biggest brewer’s like Carlsberg, the world’s fourth biggest.

The Danish brewer recently launched a partial takeover bid to raise its stake in Chongqing Brewery Company, and announced its return to Myanmar after the easing of international sanctions.

Last month, Carlsberg’s chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen pledged he would ensure the strategy and acquisition plans continue unchanged in Asia, after the head of the region resigned.

“This is a very good start to the year for Carlsberg,” said Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard.

“Asia lights up the result and both the Tuborg and Carlsberg brands are doing well in the region,” Imsgard said.

Carlsberg is consistently working to increase earnings in Asia through premium brands such as its Carlsberg, Tuborg and Baltika beers, which are more expensive than the local brands within its portfolio.

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  2 comments for “Strong Asia growth improves Carlsberg’s first quarter

  1. olfert
    May 12, 2013 at 16:58

    Apropos Myanmar. It’s true that Carlsberg has a chance becoming the leading Brand in Myanmar ( not with the production of black and white TV). As there has always in this part of the world been certain approaches which are imperative for success.

    If you come as a blue eyed naive Dane with Danish values, Carlsberg never has a chance. Repeating what happened in Thailand isn’t unrealistic. When your approach becomes similar to the following story you are outdated.

    Sct Peter was going to return the keys to the Port of Heaven. I’m bored, I resign. Everything has changed, the toilets were too low and numerous other requests for changes. All this happened because Mr. Moller had checked in. There is nothing wrong being a Dinosaur as long as your brain is focused on the future. Living in the past with your values may be give you some joy. Realistically we live in the 21st century and are guests in Thailand. Nobody has asked you to come here. Accepting this you can easily do business with Thai people as long as you follow their rules and traditions.
    The old cliche: If you don’t like the smell in the kitchen get out.This is a universal cliche.

    The same applies to Myanmar.Having been to Myanmar and met the military elite numerous times I know that the opportunities are enormous with plentiful of pitfalls.

  2. olfert
    May 12, 2013 at 12:29

    Carlsberg could have been one of the biggest brand in Thailand.

    Because they didn’t understand how to do business in Thailand ( no compromise, even unjustified),they now only have a slim chance to get a small part of the beer business in Thailand.Time is moving on and one can only assume that The Carlsberg Management belongs to the mediocre ones.

    Maybe they should start production of black and white TV!

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