Carlsberg, the Copenhagen-based brewer, exceeded expectations with its first-half adjusted earnings, thanks to continued volume growth driven by Asia and its premium brand portfolio.
Despite facing challenges such as cost inflation, higher sales and marketing investments, and adverse foreign exchange movements, Carlsberg achieved strong revenue growth. Revenue per hectolitre increased by 10%, boosted by a recovery in on-premise consumption, particularly in bars and restaurants. Additionally, premium growth in Asia and Central & Eastern Europe, as well as price increases across most markets, contributed to the positive outcome.
Impressively, Carlsberg pre-announced some of its earnings data, revealing a new 1 billion Danish kroner ($146.3 million) quarterly share-buyback program. Moreover, the company upgraded its full-year guidance, now aiming for organic growth in operating profit between 4% and 7%.
Carlsberg generated revenue of DKK37.79 billion, slightly lower than the expected DKK38.13 billion indicated by a FactSet poll but still significantly higher than the DKK35.45 billion recorded the previous year. First-half volumes also experienced a slight increase, rising from 64.2 million hectoliters to 64.8 million hectoliters.
When looking at net profit attributable to shareholders in the half, adjusting for special items and the Russian business held for sale, Carlsberg reported a decrease to DKK4.75 billion compared to DKK5.06 billion the previous year. However, this was still higher than the DKK4.24 billion expected by FactSet.
In terms of leadership changes, Chief Executive Cees ‘t Hart will retire from Carlsberg on August 31, passing the reins to Jacob Aarup-Andersen from September 1.
Overall, Carlsberg demonstrated impressive performance in the first half of the year, with strong earnings growth driven by volume growth in Asia and its premium brands. Despite some challenges, the company remains optimistic and has upgraded its full-year guidance to reflect its confidence in achieving organic growth in operating profit.