Danish beer manufacturer Carlsberg has not sold as much beer in the first half of 2015 as it did last year: a difficult Eastern European market was partly to blame, but the disappointing weather in Western Europe has also had its impact on the sales.
Russian market still shrinking
The company's turnover may have gone up slightly, to 32.4 billion Danish krona (4.3 billion euro), but that was only because of higher prices. Net profit took a serious hit and dropped 28 % in the first 6 months of 2015, to 1.59 billion krona (210 million euro).
Sold volume dropped 5 % over the first six months of 2015, with a 19 % drop in the second quarter for Eastern Europe and a 4 % volume drop in Western Europe - due to the bad weather during the spring. Carlsberg is the largest beer brewer in Russia, and that particular market slumped 9 % over the past 6 months, while the Ukraine market has even shrank 17 %. This has forced Carlsberg to shut down two Russian factories earlier this year.
The sales for the Carlsberg brand dropped 2 % in its most important markets, while brands like Tuborg (+ 16 %), Somersby (+ 26 %), Kronenbourg (+ 2 %) and Grimbergen (+ 19 %) did present positive results.
2015 forecast adjusted downward
"The first half of 2015 has been challenging for the Group, with weaker than expected results in Western Europe and market decline in Eastern Europe. (...) For the full year, we therefore do not expect that the strong Asian performance will be enough to offset the weaker than expected results in Western Europe and the challenging market conditions in Eastern Europe", CEO Cees 't Hart said.
That is why Carlsberg decided to adjust its 2015 forecast downward. At first, it had hoped for an operational profit increase, but Carlsberg is now considering a possible (minor) drop. When Cees 't Hart rose to the rank of CEO mid-June, he almost immediately had to send out a profit alert.