Global brewing powerhouse Carlsberg has reported a 5.8% increase in third-quarter revenue on an organic basis, with a notable 9% rise in revenue per hectolitre, attributing the growth to strong performance in certain European markets.
However, despite these positive indicators, the global brewing major has expressed lingering concerns regarding consumer sentiment in Southeast Asia and Europe.
This cautious outlook stems from a 3% decline in organic volumes during the third quarter, contributing to a 0.6% dip over the first nine months of the year. Volumes dropped in western, central and eastern Europe, though they rose in Asia.
In Europe, organic revenue saw a significant 7% uptick in Q3, while volumes simultaneously experienced a 5.2% drop. Carlsberg’s CFO, Ulrica Fearn, pointed out that adverse weather conditions were responsible for approximately two-thirds of the volume decline, with the remaining one-third attributed to weak consumer sentiment. Fearn emphasized the potential risks to volumes, channel dynamics, and brand mix due to the prevailing economic uncertainties in Europe.
Turning attention to Asia, Carlsberg expressed optimism about the fourth quarter in China, citing favourable year-on-year comparisons resulting from lockdowns in the previous year. However, concerns were raised about the macroeconomic environment in Southeast Asia and the negative impact on the beer market – as has been evident in the beer market contraction in Vietnam.
Carlsberg’s profit forecast for 2023 remains unchanged, anticipating a 4-7% rise in operating profit for the year. The company’s CEO, Jacob Aarup-Andersen, acknowledged the challenging environment but highlighted solid revenue growth, driven by improvements in revenue per hectolitre and the strong performance of the premium portfolio.
To bolster investor confidence, Carlsberg announced a new quarterly share buy-back program of 1 billion Danish crowns. The move signals the company’s commitment to capital management and its confidence in navigating the challenges posed by uncertain consumer sentiments in key markets. As Carlsberg maintains its strategic course, monitoring and adapting to evolving market dynamics will be crucial in mitigating potential risks in the volatile European and Southeast Asian landscapes.
Carlsberg’s quarterly reports can be viewed here: https://www.carlsberggroup.com/reports-downloads/