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Carlsberg reports ‘solid’ revenue growth in ‘challenging environment’

Carlsberg has reported revenue growth in the third quarter of 2023 following continued improvement in revenue per hectolitre, which offset lower volumes.

Volumes in Europe have been hit hardest with declines of 5.2% in Western Europe and 6.3% in Central and Eastern Europe, which follows the challenging market conditions in the region.

But the news was better on its alcohol-free beers, which grew by 6% in volume, and some of its international premium brands such as Brooklyn, which grew by 27%, and Tuborg, which grew by 3%.

Carlsberg’s flagship beer declined by 4% and its Somersby cider by 7% in the third quarter.

Revenue growth was at 5.8% for the quarter, and now at 9.2% for the year to date. In Europe, growth was 7%, Asia was 3.7% and Central and Eastern Europe at 6.3%.

As a result, it reiterated its full-year organic operating profit of 4% to 7% for 2023, and also launched a new quarterly share buy-back programme, which would amount to DKK1 billion.

CEO of Carlsberg Jacob Aarup-Andersen said: “We delivered solid revenue growth in a challenging environment. The growth was driven by continued strong revenue/hl improvement and outperformance by our premium portfolio. We maintain our earnings guidance for the year despite our recent decision to further increase our commercial investments in the remainder of the year to support our growth priorities.

“I’m enthusiastic about our brands, our teams, the commitment of our employees and the strong performance culture, which I have experienced across the entire company since I joined in September.

“The company has a strong foundation and a healthy financial position. We’re well positioned to invest in our brands and in our markets to capture attractive long-term growth opportunities. I’m confident that we can accelerate growth in line with the SAIL’27 priorities and continue to drive year-on-year sustainable and profitable results.”

The news echoes Heineken reporting that beer volume in the last quarter has declined due to “challenging economic conditions” in many markets and lower consumer demand after “inflation-led pricing”.

Heineken’s chief executive Dolf van den Brink said that while “inflation-led pricing is tapering, we observe a slowdown of consumer demand in various markets facing challenging macro-economic conditions”.

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