Will Europeans no longer be able to afford their beers? Carlsberg fears that further price increases will affect sales this year, making it “another challenging year” for the Danish brewery group.
Prices on the rise again
Carlsberg warns that Europeans may drink less beer this year. Price increases could weigh on the Danish brewer, especially on its profits. For this year, the group expects between 5% less and 5% more operating profit. Last year, growth was 12%.
“2023 will be another challenging year,” CEO Cees ‘t Hart told Reuters. “While beer historically has been a resilient consumer category, the rising prices in combination with generally high inflation may have a negative impact on beer consumption in some of our markets, particularly in Europe.” Last year, sales per litre rose by 9 %, but this year prices will have to rise again by a “high single digit” percentage to cover ever-increasing costs.
Return to Russia?
Carlsberg hopes to sell its Russian operations by June, although the brewery giant is keeping the door half-open for a possible return. Hart would like to build this option into the sale – not for the foreseeable future, but for “his successor”. However, the political situation should change radically first, so probably not in the first decade, he reassures.
Instead, the beer producer is planning to buy out its Indian partner this year. After a lengthy dispute with its local partner, the Khetan Group, Carlsberg has now obtained the right to buy out its shares. The acquisition will cost about 744 million dollars (700 million euros).