Carlsberg saw its Asian footprint account for a larger part of its FY than Eastern Europe

Carlsberg saw its Asian footprint account for a larger part of its FY than Eastern Europe

Carlsberg has reported a slight lift in sales for 2015, a year in which the brewer hit an "inflection point" in its geographical performance.

Sales in the 12 months of last year came in 1.3% up on 2014, when the top-line came in flat. The company's problem markets of Eastern Europe continued to drag last year, pulling group beer volumes down by 4% in organic terms.

However, Carlsberg noted that the balance had tipped in 2015 from Eastern Europe to Asia.

For an analysis of Carlsberg's full-year results, click here

"2015 was a mixed year for the Carlsberg Group," said CEO Cees 't Hart, who was presiding over his first set of Carlsberg full-year numbers. "While our Asian business continues to perform strongly, our businesses in Western and Eastern Europe had a challenging year.

"As a consequence of the strong Asian results, however, 2015 marked the inflection point when the growth markets of Asia accounted for a larger part of the Group than Eastern Europe."

Although the brewer reported net losses for 2015, when adjusted for special items after tax, the bottom line remained in the black, totaling DKK4.56bn, a decrease of 17.1% on the adjusted profits figure for 2014.

"The combination of (cost-cutting programme) 'Funding the Journey' (launched in November), which is well on track, and the upcoming evolution of our strategy, which leverages the strengths of our business, will enable us to capture growth opportunities and get into a positive spiral of growing profits and returns," 't Hart added.

For the current year, Carlsberg said it expects its operating profits in organic terms to rise by low-single digits.

The company's share price rose this morning, following the release of the full-year numbers. At 1142 CET, shares were almost 4% up.

For a regional breakdown of Carlsberg's full-year results, click here

To read Carlsberg's official full-year results statement, click here.