Close Menu

Mixed messages from the brewers

The brewing industry received a double dose of mixed news this week after both Molson Coors and Carlsberg reported healthy second quarter profits but saw a further decline in global volumes.

Carlsberg, the Danish producer of Tuborg and Baltika alongside its own eponymous brand, said second quarter profits rose 37% due to price increases and savings incurred from last year’s takeover of Scottish & Newcastle Plc outweighing weakening trade in Russia.

Net income at Carlsberg rose to £222m from £162m, beating many analysts’ predictions.

The company was forced to cut its 2009 revenue forecast after sales remained relatively flat at £697m.

In May, Carlsberg chief executive officer Jorgen Rasmussen said savings from the Scottish & Newcastle acquisition are set to surpass the company’s three-year target of £148m. The deal gave Carlsberg full control over Baltika, the biggest beer producer in Russia, where the brewer’s volumes fell 9% in the second quarter.

Meanwhile Molson Coors said its second-quarter profits doubled thanks to price rises and cost cutting, despite reporting a drop in sales as consumers tighten their purse strings.

The Denver-based brewer said global beer sales in the three-month period ending in June dropped 3.2%, with volumes in Britain crashing by 12.4%, outpacing the total UK beer industry decline of 5%. The brewer said, however, that its UK strategy continues to be one of emphasising revenue growth over short-term volume growth.

Molson Coors earned £110.7 million in the three months until June, compared to earnings of £54.3 million or 49 cents a share, in the same period last year, before Molson Coors and SABMiller PLC formed their joint venture MillerCoors.

Profits at MillerCoors, incidentally, rose 75% to £180.2m, with sales rising 1% to £1.5bn in the quarter.

Alan Lodge, 05.08.2009 

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No